Egypt urges unified efforts to face Ukraine crisis impacts on Arab nations

Ahram Online , Thursday 10 Mar 2022

Egypt calls for unified Arab efforts to avoid as much as possible the direct and indirect impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis on the Arab nations, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Wednesday.

Egypt s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry participates in the meeting of the 157th regular session of the Arab League Council at the ministerial level. Egyptian foreign ministry

In a speech delivered at the 157th ordinary session of the Arab League Council at the ministerial level in Cairo, Shoukry highlighted the need for a “wise management” of the crisis and further cooperation and coordination among Arab nations.

"This global crisis will take its toll on our region and countries, particularly in the political, security and economic fields," Shoukry said.

Palestinian cause

Shoukry stressed that the Palestinian issue will remain a core Arab issue, reiterating Egyptian support for the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital within 1967 borders.

Egypt maintains contacts with other Arab countries to unify their positions towards the challenges besetting the Palestinian issue as well as international efforts to break the current stalemate in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, he added.

He reiterated Egypt's continued efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip and offer all needed humanitarian facilities in the wake of the 2021 Israeli military escalation.

Libyan crisis

As for Libya, he stressed that preserving the territorial integrity and social order of Libya are indispensable to restore its hoped-for stability, calling for unity between different Libyan parties.

Shoukry underlined the importance of fully implementing resolutions issued by the UN Security Council as well as the outcome of Berlin conference and Paris summit to eject all foreign forces from Libya without any exception and according to a set timetable.

He underlined the importance that all Libyan parties should refrain from violence to preserve the country's security and stability.

Arab security, Houthi attacks

Shoukry stressed that the security of Gulf Arab countries is integral to Egypt's national security, adding that any threat to them is considered a threat to Egypt.

He lauded the Arab League's strong condemnation of Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia and the UAE, reiterating Egypt's support of all measures taken by the two countries to preserve their security.

He underlined Egypt's support of all efforts aiming at reaching a peaceful settlement to the Yemeni crisis.

Shoukry also hoped that the conflict in Syria would be resolved and vowed to take steps towards reaching a comprehensive settlement.

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry reiterated on Wednesday Egypt’s rejection of Ethiopia’s unilateral step to start the operation of the dam, accusing Ethiopia of “unilaterally exploiting international rivers.”

Shoukry made the remarks in a speech at the 157th ordinary session of the Arab League Council at the ministerial level in Cairo.

“These violations of Ethiopia’s obligations under international law come in light of a firmly-established Ethiopian policy that is based on the unilateral exploitation of international rivers,” Shoukry said.

The Egyptian FM added that this policy has caused severe damage to Ethiopia’s neighbors, including Somalia.

The Shabelle river, which originates in Ethiopia and flows into Somalia, had some sections grow dry over the past decade, with some reports blaming the reduction in water flow on dams built by Ethiopia.

In 2016, the Somali regional state of Ethiopia announced it was stopping the water flow into the Shabelle river, on which scores of Somalis depend for irrigation, for the irrigation of Ethiopian farmland.

In February, head of the Somali parliamentary delegation Saeed Mohamed Mahmoud affirmed Somalia’s support for Egypt’s stance on the GERD as he partook in the 32nd Conference of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union in Cairo.

During Cairo Water Week in October last year, Somalia called for Egypt’s support for Somali efforts to build rainwater harvesting dams and to develop Somali irrigation systems.

During his speech on Wednesday, Shoukry called for Arab nations and international partners to continue their efforts to urge Ethiopia to fulfill its commitments and show a spirit of cooperation.

“This should lead to reaching, without delay, a legal, binding and fair agreement on the rules for filling and operating the GERD in line with the presidential statement issued by the Security Council in September 2021,” Shoukry said.

Climate change, COP27

Speaking about climate change, Shoukry said this phenomenon is as dangerous as any traditional threat and will have direct repercussions politically and economically, especially in Arab countries.

Egypt's plans to host the UN Climate Change Conference 2022 (COP27) in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in November, 2022 will be a "turning point" in international climate action, he added.

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