Sisi: Egypt willing to send stabilizing forces to future Palestinian State

Monday, November 24, 2014

In an interview published yesterday in Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said when a Palestinian state is established, his country will be willing to send armed forces. These forces would be sent for an interim period, until it achieves stability and needs them no longer, and would be deployed in full coordination with Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

File photo of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in August of this year.
Image: Russian Presidential Press and Information Office.

Sisi spoke prior to his first visit to Europe since he came into office. During his visit he is to meet with Pope Francis, amongst other public figures. He said he had spoken about the subject with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He added sending armed forces would aim to "help the local police and reassure the Israelis through our role as guarantor". Nevertheless, he stated, "first a Palestinian state must exist where troops can be sent to". Moreover, he does not intend to leave his forces in the Palestinian state forever, but rather "for the time necessary to reestablish confidence".

A few months ago, Egypt proposed to train the Palestinian Authority's forces in the Gaza Strip, notably to protect the shared border on the Palestinian side. Sisi's government emphasized that strengthening the Palestinian government's control of their side of Rafah border crossing, which connects the Gaza Strip with Egypt, would help it achieve its goals and regulate the opening of the border crossing.