Egypt Watch

Egyptian president celebrates an Israeli minister at an international energy conference

The special greeting given by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to Israel’s Minister of Energy, Karine Elharrar, at an international energy conference, was highly praised at the official level in Israel.

While opening the Egypt Petroleum Show, EGYPS 2022, in Cairo, Sisi walked to where Elharrar was sitting to greet her in person and exchanged a short conversation with her.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett praised Sisi’s initiative, saying on his Twitter account: “It touched our hearts.” The Israel in Arabic Twitter account, which is close to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, described the greeting as “a noble humanitarian gesture that drew the attention of the audience.”

The Israeli embassy in Cairo also tweeted: “Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, in a step that deserves all appreciation and respect, went to pay a special greeting to Energy Minister Karine Elharrar, who’s participating in the Egypt Petroleum Show, which opened today in Cairo with the participation of countries from the Middle East and North Africa.” Activists criticised Sisi’s initiative as expressing friendliness towards the Israeli occupation.

The Israeli Channel 12 website published a report last September in which it showed how Sisi’s Egypt has strengthened security cooperation with Israel. Also, it pointed out that officials in Israel appreciate Sisi’s role in putting an end to the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The news website quoted a senior Israeli official as saying that Sisi’s rise to power was a miracle for Israel.

According to the report, senior officials in the Israeli National Security Council prefer security cooperation with the Egyptian army over openness between the Egyptian and Israeli societies, on the grounds that the great influence that the Egyptian army enjoys allows Israel to achieve many of its interests. The Israeli Prime Minister visited Egypt last September in the first visit of an Israeli official to Egypt in nearly a decade.