Cairo: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi promised Israel on Tuesday warmer ties if it accepts efforts to resume peace talks with the Palestinians, urging Israeli leaders not to waste an opportunity to bring security and hope to a troubled region.
In an impromptu speech at an infrastructure conference in the southern city of Assiut, Sisi said his country was willing to mediate a reconciliation between rival Palestinian factions in an effort to pave the way toward a lasting peace accord with the Israelis.
"If we are able to solve the issue of our Palestinian brothers it will achieve warmer peace... I ask that the Israeli leadership allow this speech to be broadcast in Israeli one or two times as this is a genuine opportunity," Sisi said.
"I say to our Palestinian brothers, you must unite the different factions in order to achieve reconciliation and quickly. We as Egypt are prepared to take on this role. It is a real opportunity to find a long-awaited solution."
Egypt was the first of a handful of Arab countries to recognise Israel with a US-sponsored peace accord in 1979, but Egyptian attitudes to their neighbour remain icy due to what many Arabs see as the continued Israeli occupation of land that is meant to form a Palestinian state.