Egypt warns against ‘serious repercussions’ of Israeli-Palestinian escalations: FM to EU envoy

Habiba Hamdy , Tuesday 7 Feb 2023

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry warned against the “serious repercussions” of the continued escalations in the Palestinian territories on security and stability in the region as well as on the chances of a two-state state solution, a statement by the ministry said on Tuesday.

Egypt s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry during his meeting in Cairo on Tuesday with the European Union Envoy for the Peace Process in the Middle East Sven Koopmans (Photo courtesy of Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)


Shoukry’s remarks came during a meeting in Cairo with the European Union Special Representative (EUSR) for the Middle East Peace Process Sven Koopmans.

On Monday, Koopmans’ mandate as EUSR was extended for two years until February 2025.

Shoukry discussed with Koopmans efforts to "calm the situation between the Palestinians and Israelis" as well as strategies to revive the peace process among other topics, said Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid in a statement.

The foreign minister reviewed the recent developments in the Palestinian territories and the increasing pace of violence that threatens to send the situation spiraling out of control.

Shoukry also affirmed Cairo's stance in emphasising the necessity of calming the on-ground situation.

This echoed his previous statements in last week's press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the country's keenness to maintain the "stability, security and development of the region."

Moreover, Shoukry emphasised the importance of Israel's cessation of unilateral measures that would fuel the Palestinians' frustration, Abu Zeid said.

The foreign minister added that stopping such actions would have a direct impact on creating the appropriate climate for resuming negotiations to reach a comprehensive and fair peace on the basis of the two-state solution.

Israeli warplanes struck Gaza early Thursday, drawing retaliatory rocket fire from Palestinian militants, as violence flared.

Thursday’s attack on the Gaza strip came after events in the West Bank where a deadly raid on the Jenin refugee camp occurred in late January that killed 10 Palestinians, after which a Palestinian gunman opened fire outside an East Jerusalem synagogue the next day, killing at least seven and wounding several people.

Tuesday’s meeting comes a week after Egypt’s Chief of the General Intelligence Service (GIS) Abbas Kamel and his Jordanian counterpart Ahmed Hosni conveyed a message of support from their presidents for the Palestinian issue in a meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

On Saturday, Egypt warned of the severe dangers of the ongoing escalation between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, calling for the exercising of maximum restraint and an end to aggression and provocative measures.

In a statement issued by the foreign ministry at the time, Egypt also warned against “slipping into a vicious cycle of violence that worsens the political and humanitarian situation and undermines efforts to achieve calm and ruins all chances of reviving the peace process.”

Egypt's President El-Sisi also underlined in late January, during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the country's constant stance on the need to reach a comprehensive and fair solution that guarantees the rights of the Palestinian people according to international standards in a manner that solves the conflict to allow peace, stability, cooperation and growth.

In turn the US secretary said to El-Sisi that Washington relies on close coordination with the Egyptian presidency to restore stability and achieve calm between the Palestinian and Israeli side

During Tuesday’s meeting, Shoukry also emphasised the important role that international partners can play, especially the European Union, to end current tensions, cease the violations and attacks on Palestinians and encourage the two parties to return to negotiations.

On his side, Koopmans affirmed the European Union's keenness to consult and cooperate with Egypt about the tense situation in the Palestinian territories as well as discuss the opportunities to encourage the Palestinian and Israeli sides to return to negotiations through offering new and creative proposals and visions, the spokesperson reported.

Koopman said that the EU takes into account Egypt's pivotal role in this context.

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