Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stressed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday the need to immediately work on resuming the direct negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.
In a video call with the German chancellor, El-Sisi stressed Egypt’s efforts to consolidate the Egypt-brokered ceasefire reached last week between the Israeli and Palestinian sides, a statement by the Egyptian presidency read.
The ceasefire, agreed upon by Israel and the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, halted an 11-day Israeli offensive on the strip.
The offensive killed over 250 Palestinians, including 66 children, destroyed hundreds of homes and displaced tens of thousands.
During the video call, El-Sisi affirmed coordination with the international community to launch the reconstruction process of the Gaza Strip based on the Egyptian initiative in this regard.
Earlier this month, El-Sisi ordered an initiative to collect $500 million for the reconstruction of Gaza.
Presidential donation-based Tahya Misr Fund also announced receiving contributions for the reconstruction of Gaza through the bank account (037037 – Reconstruction of Gaza).
Merkel hailed the successful Egyptian efforts that led to the implementation of the Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire and the de-escalation in Gaza, the presidency said.
She also praised the effective Egyptian contacts with the concerned parties, which she said contributed to ending tensions and curbing human and material losses.
The chancellor affirmed her country’s willingness to enhance coordination and exchange visions with the Egyptian president in this regard.
Merkel voiced Germany’s appreciation for its friendship with Egypt, which, according to Merkel, represents an important pillar for protecting security and stability in the Middle East.
The German chancellor also voiced keenness to continue coordination and consultation with El-Sisi on the developments of regional and international issues of mutual concern.
She hailed El-Sisi’s efforts to preserve security and stability and achieve development in the region.
Merkel affirmed her country’s commitment to support the bilateral relations with Egypt in various fields as well as to back Egyptian development efforts through increasing investments and benefiting from the expertise of German companies.
El-Sisi affirmed to Merkel Egypt’s keenness to enhance the ongoing partnership with Germany and the aspiration to maximise bilateral coordination and consultation on the political, security and economic levels.
The president also voiced aspiration to maximise German investments in Egypt, especially in the energy and transportation fields, given that Germany is one of the most important partners for Egypt in Europe.
El-Sisi praised Merkel’s contribution to enhancing the bilateral relations between Egypt and Germany during her tenure as chancellor.
El-Sisi and Merkel also discussed developments in Libya. El-Sisi reviewed Egypt’s efforts to support the transitional phase underway in Libya until elections are held in December as scheduled.
Merkel praised the Egyptian role in the Libyan issue, saying it enhanced the path of political process in Libya.
El-Sisi and Merkel also agreed on the need to ensure the exit of mercenaries and foreign militias from Libyan territories, as this would enhance the success of the transitional period, the presidency said.
Such a step would also help meet the aspiration of the Libyan people, the two leaders affirmed, agreeing to continue bilateral coordination in this regard.
Also on Wednesday, El-Sisi received US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. During their talks, they addressed the Palestinian issue, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dispute and the situation in Libya.
El-Sisi affirmed to Blinken the urgent need to revive the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks and urged a US role in ending Egypt and Sudan’s dispute with Ethiopia over its massive dam built on the Blue Nile.