Sisi meets reps from US-based Zionist groups 5 times in 20 months

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with representatives from US-based pro-Israel organizations in Cairo on Sunday, for the fifth time in 20 months.

A delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which includes several groups supporting the Israeli military and self-professed Zionist organizations based in the United States, visited Cairo to discuss a number of issues with President Sisi, according to statements issued by the presidency that were published in Egyptian newspapers.

Sisi first met with a number of similar groups in Cairo in July 2015, followed by meetings in February and December 2016, and more meetings on the sidelines of the 71st United Nations General Assembly session in September 2016 in New York.

Sunday’s meeting included discussions on regional developments, including the situations in Libya and Syria, according to several Egyptian media outlets, as well as a review of counter-terrorism measures and efforts to prevent the funding of militant organizations in the region.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (AIPAC) includes the following groups: The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA), the Zionist Organization of the Conservative Movement (MERCAZ USA), Religious Zionists of America (RZA) and the American Friends of the Likud (AFLikud).

AIPAC describes itself as America’s bipartisan lobby to support Israel, while the FIDF advocates educational and training initiatives for Israeli military personnel, along with the provision of material assistance for Israel’s troops, support for Israeli widows and orphans and medical assistance for wounded members of the Israeli Defense Forces.

The ZOA describes itself as a group that promotes Jewish identity in Israel and other occupied Arab territories and helps prepare new generations of Israeli leaders.

ARZA works to provide material support to its partner organizations in Israel, along with promoting travel and tourism to the occupied territories, while MERCAZ USA promotes unity among Jews worldwide, with Jerusalem as the capital of the “homeland.”

In February 2016, AIPAC issued a statement after meeting with Sisi that said the two-hour meeting covered a wide range of domestic and international issues, including Egypt’s relations with the US and Israel, regional threats, especially those posed by terrorist organizations and their supporters, and Iran.

“The Jewish leaders said that they had an open and very productive discussion and that they were impressed by the President’s analysis on a wide variety of issues,” the statement added.

In December 2016, Egypt’s Minister of Defense Sedky Sobhy and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry joined Sisi in meeting the American Jewish Committee (AJC). 

According to a statement issued by the AJC, they “conferred with President Sisi and senior Egyptian officials on the importance of strengthening US-Egyptian ties and the mutual benefits of increasingly close strategic cooperation between Egypt and Israel.”