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Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is expected to travel to Egypt next week for the first public visit by an Israeli prime minister in over a decade.

The big picture: Israel officials speculate that by inviting Bennett publicly so early in his term, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's government is trying to signal Egypt's importance in the region to the Biden administration.

Flashback: Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had visited Sisi in secret, and he also met him at the UN General Assembly meeting in 2017.

  • But the last public visit came in 2010 when then-President Hosni Mubarak hosted a summit with Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

What to watch: Other than establishing a personal relationship, the meeting is expected to focus on Gaza.

  • Egypt is engaging both Hamas and Israel to try to stabilize and extend the ceasefire there while also seeking to broker a possible prisoner exchange between the sides.
  • Sisi is also expected to raise Israel’s relations with the Palestinian Authority and the possibility of a political dialogue of some sort with Abbas. Bennett recently publicly ruled out any such talks.

Worth noting: Ahead of Bennett’s visit, Abbas visited Cairo last week for a trilateral summit with Sisi and King Abdullah of Jordan.

  • Sisi also called Israeli President Isaac Herzog earlier this week to convey Rosh Hashanah greetings.
  • Sisi's office released a statement about the call in another sign of Egypt's openness to a more public relationship.

Go deeper

Oct 21, 2021 - World

Scoop: Israel and France hold secret talks to end NSO spyware crisis

Anyone listening? Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Israeli national security adviser Eyal Hulata secretly visited Paris several days ago for talks with his counterparts at the Élysée aimed at ending the crisis around the alleged use of Pegasus spyware developed by Israeli firm NSO to hack the cell phones of President Emmanuel Macron and other top French officials, Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The alleged misuse of NSO software has become a major diplomatic headache for Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government. The crisis led to a partial freeze on diplomatic, security and intelligence cooperation between Israel and France and the suspension of high-level bilateral visits.

Texas House probes school library books dealing with race and sexuality

Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause (R), chair of the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, announced Wednesday that he's initiating a probe into schools' library books, according to a letter sent to the state's education agency and other superintendents.

Why it matters: The probe focuses on books that discuss race, sexuality, or "make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex," Krause wrote in the letter.

5 hours ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.