Egyptian FM, Palestinian prez discuss Israeli annexation plan

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Abbas briefed Shoukry over the latest political developments in Palestine, with a focus on diplomatic efforts to prevent the possible Israeli move to annex areas of the West Bank and apply Israeli civil law on settlements in the occupied territory, said WAFA on Monday.

After the meeting, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said that the visit is part of the ongoing consultations between Palestinians and the Arab countries to confront the Israeli annexation plan and return to peace talks on the basis of international law and legitimacy, Xinhua news agency reported.

Meanwhile, Shoukry reiterated that Egypt is committed to supporting the Palestinian position against the annexation plan.

“Egypt has been unequivocal in its rejection of any unilateral measures that may negatively affect the peace process, including any move towards annexing any part of the occupied Palestinian territory,” he said.

On Sunday night, Abbas received a phone call from his Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, during which they discussed issues of joint interests, including international positions regarding Israeli unilateral measures in Palestine.

Shoukry is the second Arab official to visit Ramallah since the Palestinian leadership declared its abolition of agreements with Israel and the United States in May in protest of the declared Israeli plan.

Last month, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi held talks with Abbas in Ramallah.

Tensions in the Palestinian territory have mounted since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared his intention to annex large areas of the West Bank and apply Israeli civil law on settlements in the occupied territory.

However, Netanyahu remains at odds with Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White, over the date of the annexation.

The Israeli plan received widespread condemnations by Palestinians and the international community.