On October 10, 2021, ECFA hosted the Israeli Ambassador to Egypt, Amira Oron, at her request. In her meeting with ECFA Chairman, Ambassador Dr. Mounir Zahran, and ECFA Director, Ambassador Dr. Ezzat Saad, she indicated several points, including focusing most of her efforts on economic relations and trade exchanges between the two countries, noting that it is not right for the volume of trade between the two countries to be within $200 million whereas the volume of trade between Israel and Turkey amounts to more than USD 4 billion despite the deterioration of political relations between the two countries. She also explained that they are in the process of discussing the possibility of expanding the Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ) program to include food industries and some high-tech products in addition to the textile industry. She added that Israel’s relationship with Egypt is a top priority regardless of the nature of the government in Israel, which is normal due to Egypt’s demographic weight and political and cultural stature, as well as the fact that it was the first country to enter into a peace treaty with Israel. In this regard, she pointed out that her country hopes to strengthen its relations with Egypt in all fields, especially as this gives the Israeli citizen a sense of security.
On the other hand, ECFA noted that the political elite in Israel must realize that the continued Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and known Israeli practices will remain a constraint on the Egyptian decision-maker in dealing with Israel. He stressed that the political elite in Israel must think about the future of the state on the medium and long terms, as it will be difficult to continue the current situation, especially since many countries, including friendly countries to Israel, no longer ignore the racist practices in the state of Israel, noting that the continuation of the situation as it is in the occupied Palestinian territories and contentment with economic peace would fuel extremism and violence, which would allow countries such as Iran and Turkey the opportunity to present themselves as champions of Palestinian rights and to exploit the Palestinian file.
In the context of the Israeli ambassador’s interest in getting acquainted with developments in Egypt’s relations with the African continent, ECFA indicated that if there was a comprehensive peace in the region and Israel’s recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people, it would have been possible for Egypt to envisage entering into a tripartite cooperation with Israel in Africa. In response to her question about Russia-Egypt relations and the Russian role in the region, ECFA affirmed that Russia’s relations with Egypt are good, and there is coordination between the two countries regarding Libya, Syria and others. He added that President Al-Sisi’s foreign policy is based on diversifying options and openness to all countries, and that this trend was evident in President Al-Sisi’s political thought since the beginning when he visited Moscow when he was Minister of Defense in November 2013, when the Obama Administration hesitated to take a clear position vis-à-vis the June 30 Revolution.