Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said yesterday the move of the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem will cause “some instability” in the region, in his first public comments on the issue.
Israeli troops shot dead 60 Palestinians on the Gaza border on Monday while the high-profile opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem by President Donald Trump’s administration was taking place.
“On the move of the US Embassy, we have said this issue will have negative repercussions on Arab and Islamic public opinion and lead to a kind of dissatisfaction and some instability, and will have repercussions on the Palestinian cause,” Al-Sisi said in televised remarks at a youth conference.
Egypt, the most populous Arab country and longtime mediator in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, has condemned the deaths of Palestinians but avoided direct criticism of the United States following the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.
Israel said yesterday that Palestinian protests on the Gaza-Israel border have reduced dramatically, citing what it said were Egyptian efforts to restore calm. Hamas has denied any pressure from neighbouring Egypt to scale back the six-week-old demonstrations being held as part of the “Great March of Return”.
Separately, Al-Sisi called for countries to resolve disputes peacefully, citing grave conditions in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
“The region cannot withstand any more wars,” he said.
Al-Sisi also said more time was needed to resolve a dispute with Addis Ababa over a $4 billion-hydroelectric dam it is building on the Nile. He said he had invited Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to visit Cairo for more talks on the issue.
“Negotiations with our brothers in Sudan and Ethiopia will require effort and time from [all sides] so we can come to the terms and reach an understanding that allows us to maintain our share [of the Nile’s water] and allow them to benefit from the dam for the development that they seek.”
Egypt fears the project will reduce its share of Nile waters.