Shoukry stresses need to contain regional escalation to Iraqi counterpart

Ahram Online , Monday 5 Feb 2024

Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry stressed on Monday over the phone with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein the necessity of working to contain the growing tension and the military escalation taking place in the region.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (R), Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein (L). Photo: Egyptian Foreign Ministry


According to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry's Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zaid, both ministers discussed the recent developments in Iraq and Syria, where Shoukry stressed Egypt's full support to the security and stability of Iraq.

Shoukry also warned against the dangers of expanding the conflict in the region as a result of Israel’s ongoing war in the Gaza Strip, which could further destabilize the region and threaten the interests of its people.

Late Friday night, the US military struck more than 85 targets in Syria and Iraq linked to pro-Iranian militias, in retaliation for a 28 January drone attack on a base in Jordan that killed three US soldiers.

US President Joe Biden has blamed "Iran-backed militant groups" for the attack in Jordan but said the US does not seek a wider war in the Middle East.

A spokesperson for the Iraqi Government Bassem Al-Awadi condemned the attacks the next day, saying they put the security of the country “on the brink of an abyss.”

He also rejected the use of Iraq as a "battleground for settling scores" and repeated his government's call for the withdrawal of the US forces from Iraq.

War on Gaza

The two ministers also discussed the situation in the Gaza Strip.

Shoukry reaffirmed the necessity of reaching a ceasefire and working to ensure the entry of aid in a sustainable manner to deal with the explosive humanitarian situation in the Strip.

At least 27,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed, and nearly 67,000 wounded since 7 October, while over 1.9 million have been displaced.

During the call, the top diplomats also stressed the depth and solidity of Egyptian-Iraqi relations, and their common desire to advance them to broader horizons that achieve the interests of both peoples and preserve the safety and stability of both nations.

They also reviewed aspects of bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries and agreed to continue coordination to implement existing bilateral cooperation projects.

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