Tel Aviv, Sep 20 (IANS) Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry have agreed to strengthen bilateral ties, according to an official statement.
During a phone call on Sunday, the two ministers agreed to boost the good relations between the two countries and advance the ties forward”, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement issued by Lapid’s office as saying.
They both declared their wish to strengthen bilateral economic ties and “increase the potential of trade and business activity”.
They also discussed Lapid’s “economy in return for security” plan for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip which he presented last week.
Gaza, a coastal Palestinian enclave, has been under an Israeli and Egyptian blockade since 2007.
During the call, Shoukry also urged Israel to revive peace talks with the Palestinian side to end their decades-long conflict.
He stressed the necessity of creating a political horizon for resuming the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations “in a manner that consolidates the pillars of stability in the region and spares it waves of escalation and tension”, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said in a statement issued in Cairo.
The talks also addressed the efforts made in coordination with the Palestinian Authority for the reconstruction and development of occupied Palestinian territories, according to the statement.
Sunday’s phone call came after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hosted Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on September 13.
The meeting marked the first official visit to Egypt by an Israeli leader for a decade.
Before returning home, Bennett said the meeting was “important and very good”, which laid foundations for “strong ties” between the two countries.
After decades of enmity, Egypt was the first Arab country to sign peace accords with Israel in 1979.