Egypt FM Shoukry, Blinken discuss Gaza ceasefire efforts

Ahram Online , Thursday 21 Mar 2024

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry discussed in a meeting on Thursday with Secretary of State Antony Blinken Egypt’s efforts to reach a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.



Minister Shoukry urged for implementing Security Council Resolution No. 2720 to ensure immediate and safe delivery of humanitarian assistance at scale to Palestinians.

He also called for a UN mechanism to overcome the obstacles placed by Israel to hinder aid delivery, according to a foreign ministry statement.

FM Shoukry reaffirmed Egypt's warning against any Israeli military operation in Rafah as Israel continues to threaten a ground operation in the Palestinian city, which is on borders with Egypt and currently housing 1.5 million Palestinians.

The Israeli potential operation would further worsen the already severe humanitarian situation in the strip, Shoukry stressed to Blinken.

Egypt completely rejects any attempts to displace the Palestinians outside their territory, the FM reemphasized.

Moreover, Shoukry warned of the dangerous regional and international repercussions of expanding the conflict.

For his part, Blinken reviewed his country’s efforts in facilitating the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza and supporting captive exchange negotiations to reach a humanitarian truce.

Earlier Thursday, Blinken held talks on a ceasefire in the Gaza war with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

The top US diplomat is set to meet foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and the UAE in Cairo for more talks on the Gaza ceasefire later on Thursday. 

Blinken arrived in Cairo earlier Thursday on his sixth regional tour since the start of Israel's war on Gaza on 7 October.

On Wednesday, he met with top Saudi officials in Riyadh.

His tour comes as world countries call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, where around 32,000 people were killed, infrastructure was destroyed, and a famine is looming.

Furthermore, Egypt, Qatar, and the US are holding talks in Doha to mediate a Gaza ceasefire.

Blinken is set to leave for Tel Aviv to update Israel on his talks with the Arab leaders.

The US has circulated a draft UN Security Council resolution calling for an "immediate ceasefire linked to the release of captives" in the strip, Blinken said on Wednesday.

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