Egypt offers West Bank peacekeepers


Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi has expressed a willingness to send Egyptian peacekeeping troops to a future Palestinian state to prevent attacks on Israel.

In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera ahead of a visit to Italy and France this week, Mr Sissi said: "We need to guarantee the security of Israelis, but, at the same time, we must give back hope to the Palestinians, and the best way to fuel this hope is the creation of a Palestinian state."

He added that he had already brought up his proposal with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

While peacekeeping troops are not needed as the peace process is at a standstill, Mr Sissi's remarks are a further signal of his confidence.

Stationing Egyptian soldiers in Palestinian territory has been seen as a deeply unpopular move with the Egyptian public. Mr Sissi has said in a number of recent interviews that he has been in regular contact with Prime Minister Netanyahu, not a fact that Egyptian politicians have in the past been happy to acknowledge.

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