July 10, 2016 — 7:01 PM EDT – When Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi turned a standard speech on electricity supplies into an unexpected appeal for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, one man who wasn’t surprised was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The televised address in May capped months of backstage diplomacy by a group including former British premier Tony Blair. With Netanyahu wary of a separate French-led proposal that could impose a solution to the Palestinian conflict, almost every step was coordinated with his veteran negotiator, Yitzhak Molcho, according to people familiar with the secret talks.
Nearly four decades after their peace accord changed the face of the Middle East, Israel and Egypt are slowly turning a cool relationship into an alliance. They have tightened security cooperation to unprecedented levels and have been laying the legal groundwork for a multi-billion dollar energy contract, as gas discoveries in the Mediterranean and the persistent threat from Islamist militants shift the political dynamics across the region.
“In this time of turmoil and instability all around the Middle East, it’s very important for reasonable countries to keep some kind of cooperation,” Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in an interview in his office in Jerusalem………..Read More>>