No secret terms in Gaza ceasefire initiative: Egypt FM

Ahram Online , Wednesday 16 Jul 2014

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry says there are no secret terms in Egypt's Gaza ceasefire initiative

Smoke and flames are seen following what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike in Gaza City July 16, 2014.(Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has said there are no secret terms in the Gaza ceasefire initiative proposed by Egypt earlier this week, insisting that it was receiving international and Arab support. 

"It is a one document initiative with no ambiguity," the minister said during an iftar meeting with diplomatic reporters and correspondents on Tuesday.

"The Egyptian ceasefire initiative for Gaza is gaining support," he said, adding that after the initiative's launch on Sunday he got phone calls from the foreign ministers of Greece, France, Canada, the United States and others.

On Tuesday afternoon, US Secretary of State John Kerry called his Egyptian counterpart to discuss the latest developments in Gaza. 

"This international support is what defines the value and importance of the Egyptian initiative. Any comment against the initiative will be against the Arab and international consensus," the minister said. 

Despite international and Israeli support for the initiative, Palestinian factions, including Hamas, declared their rejection of it on Tuesday afternoon. 

Asked about claims that the initiative calls for the disarmament of the Palestinian resistance, Shoukry denied this and said people should read the initiative carefully. 

He revealed that Egypt had received an official invitation to attend the US-Africa leaders summit.

"Egypt and the States have sometimes got different visions, but relations between the two countries are still strong," he said, insisting relations were built upon mutual respect and interests. 

Egypt received an invitation to attend the summit after its membership of the African Union was unfrozen.  

Asked about Egypt-Ethiopia relations and the Grand Renaissance dam, Shoukry said Egypt was keen to have meetings of the Tripartite Committee between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia in Addis Ababa, Cairo or Khartoum. 

FM Shoukry said that the current Iraqi crisis would not be solved except after achieving a national consensus. Shoukry visited Iraq last week. 

Shoukry said the security situation in Libya was extremely difficult and that he hoped the Arab League would contribute to solving the crisis there. 

Regarding relations between Egypt and the Syrian regime, Shoukry said Egypt was satisfied with the current diplomatic level between the two countries.





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