No Gaza ceasefire deal yet: Shoukry

Ahram Online , Monday 4 Mar 2024

During a meeting with his Dutch counterpart on Monday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry acknowledged that a ceasefire deal had not yet been reached, but expressed his hope that the current round of talks would bear fruit.

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry receives his Dutch counterpart Hanke Bruins Slot in Cairo, 4 March 2024. Photo: Egyptian Foreign Ministry


During a meeting in Cairo, both sides urged the immediate entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip amid the ongoing Israeli aggression and the worsening humanitarian situation.

"Any plan for the entry of aid must be implemented quickly," Shoukry said during a press conference with his Dutch counterpart, noting that the Israeli measures have obstructed the entry of humanitarian aid into the Strip.

Shoukry affirmed Egypt's complete confidence in UN bodies, expressing its full rejection of any attempt to displace the Palestinians outside the Gaza Strip.

Shoukry stressed the necessity of reaching an immediate ceasefire.

"We have not yet reached… a ceasefire during the negotiations," Shoukry noted, expressing Egypt's hopes that the current talks would bear fruit.

For her part, the Dutch FM affirmed her country's support for humanitarian organizations providing aid to Gaza, expressing hope to deliver more aid to the Gaza Strip.

In addition, she stressed that preventing escalation in the region is vital, emphasizing the necessity of adherence to the decision of the International Court of Justice.

Slot also affirmed her country's full support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip.

According to the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, discussions between Shoukry and Slot also focused on enhancing the bilateral relations and cooperation between Egypt and the Netherlands in multiple fields.

Early Monday, Al-Qahera News TV channel reported that negotiators from Egypt, Qatar, and the US as well as Hamas envoys have made "significant progress" towards a ceasefire during the second day of talks.

The TV channel cited a high-level source saying negotiations are set to continue on Tuesday with the participation of "all parties."

Israel, whose brutal war on the Gaza Strip has continued for nearly five months, faces growing international pressure to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza.

The Israeli army has killed more than 30,534 and wounded over 71,980 since 7 October, most of whom are women and children.

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