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Israel’s FM in Cairo discusses Gaza truce, possible prisoner exchange

While Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi met in Cairo with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Tel Aviv with Egyptian intelligence service head Abbas Kamel.
Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi meets with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Cairo, Egypt, May 30, 2021.

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi arrived in Cairo May 30 for talks with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry. It is the first time in almost 13 years that an Israeli foreign minister has paid an official visit to Egypt. Ashkenazi was accompanied by Ambassador to Egypt Amira Oron, Foreign Ministry Director Alon Ushpiz, Director of the Middle East Division Haim Regev and other Israeli diplomats.

Ashkenazi’s historic visit came after Israel and Hamas agreed last week on a cease-fire, ending 11 days of extensive Gaza rocket fire against Israeli cities and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) retaliation against Hamas targets. Ahead of the meeting, Ashkenazi said, "We will discuss establishing a permanent cease-fire with Hamas, a mechanism for providing humanitarian aid and the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip with a pivotal role played by the international community. First and foremost, Israel is fully committed to returning our MIA's held by Hamas."

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