WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi offered a rare acknowledgement of his close security cooperation with Israel in the Sinai peninsula during a U.S. television interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” news program broadcast on Sunday.
The program said Cairo had asked the network not to air the interview but did not give further details.
Sisi - Egypt - Israel - Security - Egypt
Under Sisi, Egypt has quietly cooperated with Israel on security in Egypt’s Sinai, a desert peninsula demilitarized as part of a U.S.-sponsored 1979 peace treaty between the two countries but where Cairo’s forces now operate freely.
Acknowledging such cooperation with Israel can be a sensitive topic in Egypt.
Cooperation - Israel - Sisi
Asked whether the cooperation was the closest and deepest that he has had with Israel, Sisi responded: “That is correct.”
“The Air Force sometimes needs to cross to the Israeli side. And that’s why we have a wide range of coordination with the Israelis,” Sisi said, according to a transcript provided by CBS.
Militants - Sinai - Security - Years - Unrest
Defeating militants in the Sinai and restoring security after years of unrest has been a key promise of Sisi, who was re-elected in March last year in a landslide victory against no real opposition.
Islamist militants have been waging an insurgency for years...
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