Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Cairo Thursday for a tripartite meeting with his Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts.
Abbas thanked Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for his support of the Palestinian cause, citing Egypt’s mediation of the Gaza cease-fire in May and Egypt’s support for reconstruction in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority’s WAFA news agency reported.
Egypt is in a unique position in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the first country in the Arab world to establish official diplomatic relations with Israel. Cairo also recently hosted Palestinian reconciliation talks between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
The Palestinian Authority is based in the West Bank and its Islamist rival Hamas is based in the Gaza Strip, where it seized control. The Palestinian Authority is the internationally recognized representative of the Palestinian people and is a member of the United Nations. A conflict erupted between the two organizations following the last Palestinian elections in 2005. Abbas postponed long-awaited Palestinian elections that had been set for May.
Sisi called for unity between all Palestinian political factions in his meeting with Abbas, according to the Egyptian state-owned Al-Ahram news outlet.
Jordan’s King Abdullah also met with Sisi at the summit and said that the Palestinian cause is the most important area of cooperation between the two states, according to Jordan’s official Petra news agency. Jordan also has diplomatic relations with Israel, though its Palestinian-majority population largely opposes the ties.