Cairo's Choice: Lead on Gaza, or Follow Hamas

Cairo's Choice: Lead on Gaza, or Follow Hamas

The news that Egypt has invited an Israeli envoy to Cairo for ceasefire talks over Gaza encapsulates just how far Egypt has emerged, in a matter of months, as a country with real diplomatic heft.

Taking the lead position in mediating the most recent conflict is a welcome reassertion of the historic role of the Arab world's most populous country. Even if mediation fails, the fact that the Egyptians have made such swift diplomatic headway points to a new focus in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

And yet Cairo's mediation strategy is fraught with danger. Getting closely involved in internal Palestinian politics, at a time of such transition within Egypt, could pull Egyptian-Palestinian policy in one of two directions.

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