By Hussein el-Qabbani
CAIRO (AA) – Egypt will not make concessions on the Sinai Peninsula as part of “the deal of the century,” a U.S. back-channel plan to reach a peace settlement between the Palestinians and Israel, said Egypt’s foreign minister on Monday.
"There is nothing that can undermine Egypt's sovereignty over Sinai," Sameh Shoukry said in an interview with Russia Today.
Asked about an "alternative homeland" in Sinai for displaced Palestinians, he reiterated a "total rejection at all levels of the [Egyptian] state."
The "deal of the century" has yet to be revealed in full, but based on media leaks, it envisages making major concessions to Israel on the status of Jerusalem and also on the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine.
On a two-day conference this week in Bahrain on a U.S. peace plan, Shoukry dismissed it as "merely a workshop."
U.S. officials are set to unveil the economic portion of the deal of the century at the conference, set to start tomorrow.
Last week, the White House called for $50 billion in investments for Palestine and neighboring Arab states as part of the plan, which calls for increased infrastructure projects between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, with a stated goal to "empower" the Palestinian people.
Palestinian-Israeli negotiations collapsed in April 2014 after Israel refused to stop settlement activity, accept a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders, and release Palestinian detainees from Israeli jails.