Egypt strives to secure Gaza ceasefire before Ramadan, Shoukry tells Türkiye's forum

Amr Kandil , Friday 1 Mar 2024

Egypt is diligently working alongside its partners to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza before the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry said at an event in Türkiye on Friday.

Egypt s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry speaks at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey. MFA of Egypt


Shoukry addressed the situation in Gaza during a specialized session at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum (ADF) 2024 in Türkiye.  Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Hakan Fidan and his Palestinian counterpart, Riad Malki, attended the session.

As the fasting month of Ramadan is merely ten days away, over half a million people in the Palestinian territory are on the brink of famine due to the relentless Israeli war and ongoing blockade since 7 October.

Active negotiations involving Egypt, Qatar, the US, and Israel are currently underway, aiming to reach a ceasefire in the war-torn Gaza Strip and a detainee swap deal.

However, Israeli officials have made threats to invade Rafah city in southern Gaza by Ramadan, despite widespread global condemnations and warnings.

Rafah, currently housing around 1.4 million Palestinians, most of whom have been displaced by Israel’s brazen war, represents the last sanctuary for more than half of Gaza’s population.

The international community has strongly cautioned against Israel’s catastrophic plan.

In his address at the ADF, Shoukry highlighted the negative consequences of the Rafah offensive, noting that it will further exacerbate the already dire humanitarian crisis faced by civilians in the strip.

Shoukry underscored that Egypt has kept the Rafah border crossing with Gaza open since 8 October to deliver the needed humanitarian aid to the strip. 

However, he added, the Egyptian efforts have been obstructed by Israel’s restrictions.

Egypt has repeatedly accused Tel Aviv of deliberately impeding aid entrance by imposing extremely slow inspection measures.

International aid organizations have also warned that the Israeli blockade on food, medicine, and fuel is causing near-starvation conditions in the strip.

He stressed the international community's responsibility to fulfil its obligations to alleviate the suffering of civilians in Gaza. 

He urged the activation of relevant UN mechanisms designed to facilitate and monitor the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza as per UN Security Council Resolution 2720.

Shoukry also reaffirmed that the decisions by some donor countries to suspend their contributions to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) obstruct the agency’s work.

He added that this suspension adds further burdens on the UNRWA and exacerbates the humanitarian suffering in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Shoukry reaffirmed Egypt’s concerns regarding the deteriorating situation on the ground in the occupied West Bank amid the increased Israeli military storming operations.

He warned of the mounting threat posed by the spillover of the conflict in the region.


In an interview with the Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency, Shoukry affirmed that Egypt, alongside other Arab and Islamic countries, is pressing ahead with efforts to bring an end to the tragedy in Gaza and address the needs of the Palestinians.

He emphasized the country's commitment to providing humanitarian aid to Gaza and pursuing a prisoner release agreement.

“We are doing everything we can to end this devastating war, unparalleled in the twenty-first century, in which more than 20,000 women and children have lost their lives,” Shoukry told the agency.

He further reiterated warnings against any military operation in Rafah, situated on the Egyptian border, as it would “undoubtedly worsen the humanitarian situation and result in further loss of life.”

Additionally, the Egyptian foreign minister reaffirmed the rejection of schemes to displace the people of Gaza to Egypt and Jordan.


Short link: