Egypt FM urges regional cooperation to address Red Sea threats in meeting with Iran FM

Amr Kandil , Tuesday 27 Feb 2024

Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry underlined the need for cooperation among all countries in the region to address tensions in the southern Red Sea region during a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

Egypt FM


Shoukry and Abdollahian met on Tuesday on the sidelines of the high-level segment (HLS) of the 55th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Shoukry expressed concerns to Abdollahian regarding the spread of military tensions in this region, which posed an unprecedented threat to one of the most important sea navigation corridors.

The Egyptian foreign minister said such a threat has caused direct harm to the interests of a large number of countries, including Egypt.

He affirmed the need for regional cooperation to support stability and peace and eliminate hotbeds of tensions and conflicts in this area.

Shoukry warned of the grave consequences on the stability and security of several Arab countries posed by the Gaza conflict spillover in the region.

Gaza conflict spillover

Egypt’s Suez Canal, which used to handle 12 percent of global trade, has suffered a drop of 40-50 percent in revenues due to the Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping, according to President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi last week.

The Suez Canal is vital for the Egyptian economy as it is a main source of foreign currency for the country, which is currently suffering from a hard currency shortage. During the 2022/2023 fiscal year, Suez Canal revenues hit a record-breaking $9.4 billion.

Tensions between Western powers and Houthi rebels are high in this crucial navigation corridor.

The Houthis, who control much of Yemen but are not recognized internationally, have repeatedly targeted Israel-linked vessels with strikes near the strategic Bab Al-Mandeb Strait in the Red Sea to pressure Israel over its deadly war on the Gaza Strip.

In recent weeks, the US and the UK have conducted airstrikes against Houthi targets with the Yemen rebels responding with targetting of American and British ships.

The ministers discussed the war in Gaza, reiterating their rejection of plans to displace the Palestinian people outside their land and ruin the Palestinian cause.

They agreed to intensify their joint efforts to achieve an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and perpetuate the humanitarian aid delivery to Palestinian people in the strip in line with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Achieving stability, normalizing ties

Shoukry and Abdollahian highlighted their keenness to achieve stability and enhance security in their regional surrounding.

They also agreed on maintaining communication regarding various issues of concern for both countries over bilateral, regional, and international issues.

The foreign ministers affirmed both countries’ aspirations to normalize their bilateral relations in line with the historical and civilizational heritage and their pivotal regional role.

They said their meeting today represents an important step on this road.

The discussions cited the meeting of Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi last November on the sidelines of the Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit in Riyadh.

In today’s statement, the Egyptian foreign ministry said the meeting between both leaders highlights the importance of collaboration to settle the outstanding issues between both countries to normalize their relations.

This normalization would be based on the principles of mutual respect, good neighborhood, and non-intervention in the domestic affairs of other countries, the ministry said.

Egyptian-Iranian relations would serve the interests of both countries and promote regional stability and security, the ministry added.

Short link: