Egypt’s FM stresses need to preserve legal, historical status quo in Jerusalem in call with Israeli counterpart

Ahram Online , Thursday 19 Jan 2023

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry stressed the need to preserve the legal and historical status quo in Jerusalem in a phone call on Thursday with his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen, the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Egypt s FM

Shoukry affirmed that preserving the legal and historical status quo in Jerusalem has a direct impact on easing Israeli-Palestinian tensions, calling for halting unilateral measures that will complicate the situation.

He emphasised the need to work to revive the peace process as soon as possible, given that it is the only ideal way to achieve the two-state-solution vision, the statement added.

The revival of the peace process will also be the way towards establishing the Palestinian state and achieving stability and comprehensive peace for the peoples of the region, Shoukry added.

Egypt will always shoulder its historical responsibility in supporting peace efforts to end the conflict, the top Egyptian diplomat stressed.

Shoukry also indicated that Egypt will continue its efforts to maintain calm between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.

Shoukry’s phone call with Cohen comes two days after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II held a trilateral summit in Cairo. The meeting called for an end to all Israeli illegitimate and unilateral actions.

The summit stressed that such unilateral actions that undermine the two-state solution and the chances of achieving fair and comprehensive peace must stop.

The three leaders called on the international community to protect the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights.

They urged all relevant parties to intensify efforts to relaunch peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians to resolve the Palestinian issue based on the two-state solution.

El-Sisi and Abbas also reaffirmed the importance of the historical Hashemite sole custodianship over Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem and its role in protecting them and their Arab, Islamic and Christian identity, said the Egyptian Presidency.

Thursday's phone call also came amid Israeli escalation and provocative acts in the West Bank and Jerusalem under the new extreme-right government of Benjamin Netanyahu and proposed Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley, a step that will certainly draw Arab and international rejection. 

Shoukry also congratulated Cohen for assuming his post and the two ministers agreed on continuing consultations during the coming period, the statement said.

Shoukry wished Cohen success in his post duties, especially those related to enhancing Egyptian-Israeli relations and boosting consultation mechanisms between the two countries on various issues of mutual concern.

Early in January, President El-Sisi stressed the necessity of refraining from any unilateral measures that would lead to tensions and complicate the regional scene as he called Netanyahu right after his inauguration.

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