Israel swoons as Egyptian Sisi welcomes Minister Elharrar to special summit
Israeli officials and journalists raved about a video on Monday showing Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi making a trip through a Cairo convention hall to personally greet Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar during a conference.
In the video, Sissi was seen entering the Great Hall with a bang, welcoming convention guests, then putting down his microphone to walk to the other end of the room, where he spoke a few words to Elharrar.
Elharrar, who uses a wheelchair, also received international attention after he was sadly unable to attend the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow last year.
A spokesman for Elharrar said Israelis were right to be excited about Sisi’s warm welcome at the Egyptian Oil Show in Cairo.
“With the president speaking to the minister, the fact that he said he was happy that she came and invited her back is super exciting and speaks to the fact that links that were once secret have become public,” the spokesperson said, adding that the display was not fully planned.
This is the first time that Israel has been invited to the major regional gas conference, which has met four times before, according to the Elharrar spokesman. Most Egyptians reject ties with Israel despite a decades-old peace treaty between the countries.
President al-Sissi, you have touched us all. https://t.co/1kYBZgznEx
— Naftali Bennett בנט (@naftalibennett) February 14, 2022
Elharrar told the summit that Israel’s energy industry is “a bridge for regional ties”, in comments carried by Ynet.
According to the news site, Elharrar told the conference that Israeli gas would eventually reach Lebanon, via Egypt.
On Twitter, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett joined Israelis in congratulating the Egyptian leader for his gesture towards the Israeli minister, saying he “touched us all”.
The video was first reported by Walla reporter Barak Ravid, who called it “incredible” and a “must watch”.
“Happy, exciting and no coincidence,” tweeted former Channel 10 analyst Nadav Perry.
Kan correspondent Roi Kais praised the former military general Sisi as “an officer and a gentleman”.