Egyptian foreign minister in Israel on a negotiation mission

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet on Sunday will Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, who travelled to Israel earlier the same day to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, bilateral ties and various pressing matters for the region.

Netanyahu confirmed his visit to Israel and said the last such trip by an Egyptian foreign minister was in 2007.

In an effort to revive stalled peace efforts between Israel and Palestine, Egypt's foreign minister will travel to Israel for the first time in nine years.

"The current state of affairs unfortunately is neither stable nor sustainable", he said.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that he will meet Shoukry twice on Sunday.

Last month, however, Netanyahu said that he would not accept the initiative's key condition that Israel withdraw from land occupied during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, including East Jerusalem.

He added that peace between Israelis and Palestinians "would have dramatic and positive results and on the situation in the entire Middle East", and warned of maintaining the status quo, which might ignite further escalation.

But Israeli officials have said only direct talks can end the decades-old conflict.

There have been repeated warnings that Israeli settlement building and Palestinian attacks are eroding the possibility of a two-state solution, especially with peace efforts at a standstill since April 2014.

The statement added that the goal is that Sunday's meetings will lead to the renewal of direct peace negotiations between Palestinian and Israeli leadership.

Israel strongly opposes that initiative, which is being promoted by France.

In May Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi urged both sides to seize the opportunity to make a historic peace, offering Israel the prospect of warmer ties if this were achieved.

Israel has emerged as a discreet ally to Sissi, along with Saudi Arabia and Gulf Arab countries. The president called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, which he asserted would bring safety and security to Israel and the region at large.

Relations between the two countries, however, remain a sensitive issue in public opinion and the Egyptian media.

But some analysts have questioned whether Netanyahu's comments were a bid to fend off global critics over his appointment of hardline Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his opposition to the French plan. The Arab League has said the terms can not be changed.

However, cooperation between the two governments has strengthened under Sisi, with Egypt facing insurgents in Sinai near its eastern neighbour's border and both countries wary of Gaza's Hamas rulers.

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