Egypt reiterates warning of consequences of any Israeli ground operation in Rafah: Sisi to Blinken

Ahram Online , Thursday 21 Mar 2024

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi warned of the dangerous consequences of any Israeli military ground operation in the Palestinian city of Rafah during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday.



President El-Sisi reiterated to Secretary Blinken his call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

During the meeting, El-Sisi told Blinken that innocent civilians in Gaza are being exposed to a humanitarian catastrophe and famine, according to a statement by the Egyptian presidency.

The president stressed the necessity of urgent action to allow sufficient quantities of humanitarian aid into the strip.

The head of Egypt's General Intelligence Service, Major General Abbas Kamel, attended the meeting.

Blinken arrived in Cairo earlier Thursday on his sixth regional tour since the start of Israel's war on Gaza on 7 October.

He met on Wednesday with top Saudi officials in Riyadh.

Blinken's tour comes as world countries call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, where around 32,000  people were killed, infrastructure was destroyed, and a famine is looming.

However, Israel continues to threaten a ground operation in Rafah, a city on Egypt’s borders currently housing 1.5 million Palestinians, most of whom are displaced by the war.

Egypt, Qatar, and the US are currently mediating for a ceasefire in the Gaza war in talks in Doha.

From his side, Blinken lauded Egyptian efforts to restore stability and security in the region, stressing the keenness of Washington on coordination and consultation with Cairo.

President El-Sisi also stressed to Blinken the necessity of opening the horizons of the political track to activate the two-state solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital.

The two sides agreed on the importance of taking all measures to ensure the access of humanitarian aid to the people of the Gaza Strip, according to the statement.

They also reiterated their rejection of the displacement of Palestinians outside their lands in any way or form, added the statement.

The US has circulated a draft UN Security Council resolution calling for an "immediate ceasefire linked to the release of hostages" in the Gaza Strip, Blinken said on Wednesday.

Blinken is set to meet foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and the UAE in Cairo for ceasefire talks later today.

He will leave Cairo for Tel Aviv to update Israel on his talks with the Arab leaders.

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