Egypt FM holds talks with US, Iran and Israel counterparts to de-escalate ME tensions

Ahram Online , Sunday 14 Apr 2024

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry conducted intensive diplomatic efforts through phone conversations with his counterparts from the United States, Iran, and Israel on Sunday, aiming to de-escalate increasing tensions in the Middle East.

Israeli Iron Dome air defense system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran, in central Israel, Sunday, April 14, 2024. AP


The phone discussions revolved around the launch of Iranian drones targeting Israeli sites, which began late Saturday in response to an Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, escalating tensions amid the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza.

In his calls with Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz, Shoukry emphasized the grave threat the military escalation poses to regional security and stability, as per two separate statements from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Shoukry expressed Egypt's deep concern due to the ongoing unprecedented military escalation between Iran and Israel, which threatens to spiral the situation out of control, jeopardize regional stability, and endanger the interests of its peoples.

Egypt’s top diplomat urged his Iranian and Israeli counterparts to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from policies of brinkmanship and mutual provocations that could further escalate tensions and instability in the Middle East.

Shoukry also conveyed to both ministers Egypt's readiness to intensify its efforts in collaboration with its partners to defuse the current crisis, which is taking on a dangerous escalatory trend, especially given the ongoing crisis in the Gaza Strip and the daily suffering of the Palestinian people

Furthermore, he called them for reinforcing rational discourse and enabling diplomatic endeavours aimed at preserving Middle East stability and ensuring the safety of the region's populations.

He stressed Egypt's firm stance in calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and facilitating the entry of humanitarian aid. Shoukry also underscored Egypt’s rejection of any actions aimed at displacing Palestinians from their lands, including military operations on the ground in the Palestinian city of Rafah.

Shoukry and Blinken

Shoukry’s call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also addressed the developments in the region, particularly concerning the launch of Iranian drones targeting Israeli targets, the escalating tensions in recent weeks amid the Gaza war and its regional implications.

He briefed his American counterpart on the outcomes of Egypt's intensive communications with both the Iranian and Israeli sides, aimed at addressing the crisis and preventing it from spiralling out of control.

“The widening scope of the conflict, as witnessed, will serve no party's interests and will only bring further tension and instability to the region's peoples,” Shoukry told Blinken.

He also emphasized Egypt's keenness on close coordination with the US to contain the current crisis between Iran and Israel. Moreover, he highlighted Egypt's unwavering commitment to exerting all efforts to halt the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip and facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid.

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