Egypt's FM Shoukry discusses regional, international issues with counterparts at G20 FM meeting

Radwa ElSayed Hani , Thursday 22 Feb 2024

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry discussed regional and international issues, especially the Israeli war on Gaza, with his counterparts from various countries on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the ministry reported.

Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry meets with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on the sidelines of the G20 Ministers of Foreign Affairs Meeting in the Brazilian capital, Rio de Janeiro, 22 February 2024. Photo: Egyptian Foreign Ministry


Shoukry reaffirmed to the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken the necessity of reaching a ceasefire to halt the bloodshed of civilians and de-escalate the ongoing crisis, following the US veto on a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling for a ceasefire.

Earlier, he further expressed regret and rejection of the UNSC’s continued failure to achieve a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, due to the repeated use of the unjustified US veto.

Shoukry told Blinken that Egypt is closely monitoring the development of the Israeli military operations, warning of the grave risks and humanitarian catastrophe that would result from a large-scale attack on the Palestinian city of Rafah, according to a statement by Ahmed Abu-Zeid, foreign ministry spokesperson.

He also stressed the importance of the UNRWA's role regarding humanitarian aid in Gaza, confirming it is the only agency that is capable of working efficiently in such security and humanitarian conditions. Shoukry called for reconsidering financing its activities as soon as possible.

Saudi FM

Moreover, he discussed with his Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan the Gaza humanitarian crisis; both expressed rejection of any Israeli military operations in Rafah or forced displacement of Palestinians.

They stressed the necessity of soft humanitarian and relief aid entry to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians.

Abu-Zeid added that both ministers also discussed the regional growing tensions, including threats to navigation security in the Red Sea. They stressed the importance of continuous coordination with various parties to achieve a truce and prevent further escalation in the region.

Egypt is participating in the 2024 G20 meetings per an invitation from the Brazilian presidency for this year. It is the fourth time for Egypt to participate in these meetings following 2016, 2019, and 2023.

Russian FM

Beyond the Gaza situation, Shoukry explored other areas of collaboration with Russian FM Sergey Lavrov. They reviewed cooperation on the Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant, which witnessed the attendance of both the Egyptian and Russian presidents at the first concrete pouring ceremony for the fourth unit of the plant.

Furthermore, Shoukry reiterated Egypt's aspiration to reach a political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis. He stressed the necessity of devoting international efforts to resolving it, shedding light on its continuous negative humanitarian, political, and economic repercussions at the regional and international levels, especially on the Egyptian economy.

They also addressed the latest developments in Yemen and its negative impact on the security and safety of maritime navigation, in addition to crises in Sudan, Libya, and Syria.

Meanwhile, Minister Lavrov praised the established partnership and cooperation between Cairo and Moscow, stressing the importance of continuous high-level consultation to achieve the mutual interest of both peoples, work on resolving crises, and support stability in the region.

Turkish FM

Discussions with Turkish FM Hakan Fidan focused on strengthening bilateral relations and addressing regional issues like the Libyan crisis.

Fidan hailed the positive results of the recent visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Cairo, expressing aspirations to strengthen bilateral relations.

Both sides exchanged views on the Israeli war in Gaza and the means to prevent escalation, stressing the necessity of immediate ceasefire, unconditional access to humanitarian aid, and the resumption of the peace process. They also discussed the crises in Libya, Syria, and Sudan, in addition to the Ukrainian war.

Minister Fidan highlighted the developing bilateral relations with Egypt, looking forward to elevating cooperation to new levels and acclaiming the strong historical friendship between Cairo and Ankara.

He also affirmed the importance of strengthening coordination between the two countries regarding the pressing regional and international issues and exerting joint efforts to establish peace and stability in the entire region.

South African FM

Furthermore, Shoukry discussed with his South African counterpart Naledi Pandor bilateral relations and the ongoing coordination on regional issues of common interest.

They emphasized the importance of prioritizing economic and development cooperation.

Minister Pandor acknowledged Egypt's stance on the Palestinian issue, expressing her desire to collaborate with Shoukry to explore potential avenues for future joint action.

She emphasized the importance of protecting the Palestinian people, calling it a top priority for South Africa.

Brazilian FM

Shoukry affirmed to Brazilian FM Mauro Vieira the importance of strengthening economic and trade relations, particularly in light of the MERCOSUR free trade agreement. He also highlighted the recent visit of Brazil's President Lula da Silva to Cairo.

They also discussed the Gaza war, and Shoukry praised the Brazilian position in supporting the Palestinian cause, affirming Egypt’s continuous efforts towards halting the war, the statement said.

He also stressed the urgent need to activate the UN work mechanism to facilitate, monitor, and coordinate the process of aid entry into the besieged strip.

Minister Shoukry welcomed Brazil's presidency of the G20 for 2024, expressing appreciation for inviting Egypt to participate as a guest in the group's activities and for Brazil's support of Egypt's accession to the BRICS bloc.

Bolivian FM

Egypt's top diplomat discussed with his Bolivian counterpart Celinda Sosa the capabilities of both countries to maximize cooperation at the international level, considering the convergence of their stances on several issues.

They underscored cooperation in many fields such as health, medicine, and renewable energy.

Shoukry lauded Bolivia's positions regarding the worsening situation in Gaza, which rejects any Israeli military operation in Rafah and stresses the necessity of an immediate ceasefire and a soft entry of humanitarian aid.

Meanwhile, Sosa appreciated the Egyptian positions regarding the Gaza war and the alleviation of the Palestinian people’s suffering.

Uruguayan FM

In addition, Shoukry affirmed to his Uruguayan counterpart Omar Paganini his satisfaction with the depth of coordination and cooperation between both countries. He also praised the Uruguayan battalion’s participation in the multinational force in Sinai since its establishment in 1982.

According to Abu-Zeid, Shoukry stressed the importance of adopting an objective approach in dealing with the Gaza war, away from absolute bias towards Israel, affirming the need for full implementation of UNSC Resolution No. 2720.

Indonesian and Portuguese FMs

Shoukry also discussed with Indonesian and Portuguese FMs Retno Marsudi and João Gomes Cravinho, respectively, ways to strengthen bilateral ties and coordinate stances on key international issues of mutual interest.

Early Wednesday, Egypt reiterated its call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza after the US vetoed a UNSC resolution drafted by Algeria, warning of the catastrophic dangers of Israel’s declared plans to attack Rafah.

Since 7 October, the Israeli brutal war on Gaza has killed at least 29,000 people, most of whom are women and children. Nearly 70,000 Palestinians were wounded, and over two million were displaced.

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