Shoukry and UN secretary-general discuss developments in Gaza

Ahram Online , Thursday 7 Dec 2023

Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry discussed Wednesday with the UN Secretary-General António Guterres the latest developments of the deteriorating humanitarian and security conditions in the Gaza Strip and the diplomatic actions aimed at restoring the truce.

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry (R), UN Secretary-General Ant nio Guterres (L). Photo: Egyptian Foreign Ministry


During a phone call, both sides consulted on coordinating efforts to contain the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip and its repercussions, deriving from Guterres’ keenness and responsibility to maintain international peace and security. 

Shoukry and Guterres emphasized the necessity of reaching a permanent humanitarian ceasefire to spare the lives of Palestinian civilians and allow the delivery of humanitarian aid adequately and sustainably, according to the ministry's Spokesperson and Director of the Public Diplomacy Department Ambassador Ahmed Abu-Zeid.

Shoukry also demonstrated the Egyptian moves along with international parties, and within the framework of the Arab and Islamic groups in the UN, to push ahead with halting the war in the strip.

He stressed the importance of fully putting into effect the latest resolutions of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly and building on them to reach a full ceasefire and increase humanitarian aid delivery to the strip, reaffirming Egypt's categorical rejection of attempts to forcibly displace Palestinians inside or outside their territories.

Shoukry also expressed his appreciation for the important role of Guterres in tackling the crisis and its repercussions, affirming Egypt’s keenness to continue consultation and close coordination with the UN and its relevant agencies, to contain the war in the strip and put an end to the Israeli attacks and violations.

Meanwhile, Guterres appreciated Egypt’s role in addressing the deteriorating security and humanitarian conditions in the strip, since the outbreak of the war in October, and the Egyptian efforts to facilitate aid delivery to those in utmost need of it in the strip.

Shoukry, who is currently visiting Washington DC, met Wednesday with several US senators from the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as members of the US Congressional Friends of Egypt Caucus, to discuss the situation in the strip, the delivery of humanitarian aid, and efforts to stop the ongoing war on Gaza.

Guterres wrote Wednesday a letter to the UNSC president invoking Article 99 of the UN's charter, which states that "the Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security."

"The humanitarian conditions amid the war in Gaza are fast deteriorating into a catastrophe with potentially irreversible implications for Palestinians as a whole," Guterres said in the letter.

The Arab group at the UNSC is currently working on a draft resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the strip, representatives of the group stated in a press briefing at the UN on Wednesday.

"The Arab group is once again knocking on the doors of the Security Council, developing a resolution to cease fire immediately,” Egypt's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Osama Abdel-Khalek said.

Egypt and Qatar are still pressing on with efforts to reinstate the Israel-Hamas truce that collapsed Friday after the Israeli side resumed its brutal bombardments on the strip, breaking a week-long ceasefire, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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