The Egyptian presidency issued a statement on Sunday to comment on recently published press reports suggesting that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi participated in a “secret summit” between Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former US secretary of state John Kerry, and Arab leaders. While not denying participation in the meeting, the presidency said that “Egypt spares no efforts to reach a just and permanent solution to the Palestinian issue, based on the two-state solution and the Palestinians’ right to establish an independent state along the June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, without any political outbidding”. On Sunday, Israeli news website Haaretz published an exclusive report stating that Netanyahu took part in a secret summit in Aqaba a year ago. Participants allegedly included Kerry, Al-Sisi, and King of Jordan Abdullah II. The report said that Kerry’s proposal was rejected by Netanyahu but was supported by the two Arab leaders. The proposal reportedly included the recognition of the Jewish state and the renewal of talks with the Palestinians with support of the Arab countries.
On monday U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he believed former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad was the right person to be the world body’s envoy to Libya after the United States raised objections to the choice. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has expressed disappointment over Guterres’s choice, saying the United Nations had for too long been “unfairly biased in favour of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel”. “It is a loss for the Libyan peace process and for the Libyan people that I am not able to appoint him” Guterres said at the World Government Summit in Dubai. “I do not think there is any valid reason to avoid someone who is very competent to do a job that is extremely important” he said, adding that ending the Libyan conflict was in “everybody’s interest.” It is unclear whether the U.S. objection has ended Fayyad’s candidacy. Guterres declined to answer questions when approached by Reuters immediately after his comments. Guterres dismissed the accusation that the United Nations is biased on Israeli-Palestinian issues and said the body’s only loyalty was to its charter.