Cairo Summit for Peace: Sisi proposes a roadmap for peace starting with a ceasefire in Gaza

Ahram Online , Saturday 21 Oct 2023

In an impassioned address at the Cairo Summit for Peace on Saturday, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi reaffirmed Egypt's unwavering support for the Palestinian Cause and proposed a roadmap to end the current humanitarian crisis in Gaza and revive the path for peace.

Cairo Summit
Egypt s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi(C) with with Abbas Kamel (R) Director of the General Intelligence Directorate of Egypt and Egyptian minister of Foreign affairs Sameh Shoukry (L) during the Cairo Summit for Peace on Saturday 21 October, 2023.


Addressing leaders from more than a dozen Arab and Western countries and representatives of the European Union and various international organizations attending the summit that was called by Egypt earlier last week to discuss ways to de-escalate the war in Gaza, the Egyptian president criticized the inequality and double standards in dealing with the loss of human lives.

"Where are the values of human civilization that we have built over long millennia and decades? Where is equality of human souls without discrimination or segregation or double standards?" he asked.​

"Egypt condemns, in the clearest terms, the targeting, killing, and intimidation of all peaceful civilians. At the same time, Egypt expresses its deep shock that the world is standing by idly, while the catastrophic humanitarian crisis unfolds," El-Sisi said.

The Egyptian president emphasized that these practices, including collective punishment, blockade, starvation, and pressure toward forced displacement, run counter to the principles of international law and the agreements established by the civilized world to prevent such actions.

The Egyptian president also reiterated that Cairo categorically rejects the displacement of Palestinians from their land under any circumstances. 

"Anyone who believes that the Palestinian people, who are proud, steadfast, and resilient, would be willing to abandon their land, even under occupation or bombardment, is mistaken in their understanding of the nature of this people," El-Sisi added.

He stressed that "the liquidation of the Palestinian cause without a just solution is beyond the realm of possibility, and in all cases, it will never happen at the expense of Egypt."

As President El-Sisi pondered, "Isn't it high time to address the root causes of the Middle East problem? Hasn't the moment arrived to dispel the political illusions that the status quo can be sustained?"

He stressed that the only solution for the Palestinian Cause is "the achievement of justice through a fair and equitable resolution that upholds the rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people."

The Egyptian president emphasized the need to prevent the conflict, which broke out on 7 October,  from escalating further and jeopardizing regional stability and global peace and security.

He extended an invitation to the world community to work collectively on a specific roadmap.

"This begins with ensuring the full, safe, unfettered, and sustainable flow of humanitarian aid and relief to the people of Gaza, followed by immediate negotiations on achieving calm and a ceasefire," he said.

"Subsequently," he stressed, "discussions on reviving the peace process should commence to implement the two-state solution and establish an independent Palestinian State, living alongside Israel based on international legitimacy resolutions."
The Egyptian president added that this plan should occur concurrently with efforts to strengthen the Palestinian Authority to fully assume its duties in the Palestinian territories.

El-Sisi noted that Egypt has never closed the Rafah border crossing from the Sinai Peninsula to Gaza, saying the crossing was bombed on the Palestinian side by Israel thus preventing aid from reaching people in the strip.

He revealed an agreement reached with the United States regarding a sustainable opening of the Rafah border crossing under the supervision of the United Nations. 

This proposal aims to allow for vital humanitarian aid to reach the people of Gaza, he said.

Human catastrophe in Gaza

Since the war started two weeks ago to date, 24/7 Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip killed more than 4,100 Palestinians and injured more than 13,000 in the strip, most of them women and children. 

Moreover, Israeli airstrikes destroyed hundreds of homes in the strip, leaving more than a million Gazans without shelter.

Israel has cut off all food, water, and fuel to the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, pushing the civilian population toward the brink of a human catastrophe.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army killed more than 83 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and arrested hundreds of people.

On the other side, Hamas killed more than 1,400 Israelis and injured hundreds.

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