Egypt calls for 'integrated vision' to meet needs of Palestinian people, ease economic crisis

Ahram Online , Wednesday 17 Nov 2021

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry called on Wednesday for the drafting of an “integrated vision” to fulfil the needs of the Palestinian people and help the Palestinian Authority (PA) overcome the economic crisis in the Palestinian territories.

Sameh Shoukry
File photo of Egypt s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry

Shouky made the comments at a ministerial meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) for coordinating international aid to the Palestinian people, which was held earlier today in Norway.

Shoukry underlined Egypt's efforts to provide humanitarian support to the Palestinians and to reconstruct the Gaza Strip, highlighting the steps implemented in this respect in coordination with the PA.

The economic crisis in the Palestinian territories has worsened on the heels of the recent Israeli war on Gaza in May, the COVID-19 pandemic, and delays in the payment of salaries by the PA.

In a recent report, the World Bank expressed concern about the PA’s financial situation, saying it was no longer able to borrow from local banks. It said that the PA’s budget deficit will be $1.36 billion in 2021, making it even more difficult to meet its obligations by the end of the year.

In Gaza, which has been under siege for 14 years and suffers from stiff restrictions by Israel, poverty and unemployment rates are soaring. Israel's recent 11-day onslaught on Gaza increased the enclave's suffering, destroying dozens of its buildings and badly damaging much of its infrastructure.

In May, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi announced the allocation of $500 million as part of an Egyptian initiative to reconstruct the Strip. Egypt has also sent Gaza several tonnes of humanitarian aid.

According to media reports, several challenges now face reconstruction given complicated political conditions; Israel wants to link a prisoner-exchange deal to reconstruction in Gaza, something the Palestinian side rejects.

During his speech to the AHLC, Minister Shoukry asked all international donors to continue to provide support to the Palestinians people, according to a statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry.

Shoukry urged the international community to live up to its responsibility to provide an environment that is conducive to the resumption of negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis to reach a “comprehensive” settlement that is based on UN Security Council resolutions, the statement added.

Shoukry also voiced Egypt's appreciation and continued support for the AHLC, saying it “represents an important international mechanism for coordinating efforts and communications between concerned parties to support the brothers in Palestine.”

The AHLC was established in 1993 following the Oslo I Accord. Its main aim is to develop an institutional and economic basis for a future Palestinian state based on a negotiated two-state solution.

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