Egypt, Jordan & France FMs call for immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza at Cairo presser

Ahram Online , Saturday 30 Mar 2024

The Foreign Ministers of Egypt, Jordan, and France on Saturday called for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza, the release of all detainees, and the need to provide unfettered aid access for Palestinians.

Cairo, Egypt
French Foreign Minister, Stephane Sejourne speaks during a press conference with his counterparts, Egyptian Sameh Shoukry, center, and Jordanian Ayman Safadi, left, after their meeting at Tahrir palace in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, March 30, 2024. AP

 

Ministers Sameh Shoukry, Ayman Safadi, and Stéphane Séjourné issued the demands in an 11-point joint press statement following their meeting in Cairo to address the situation in Gaza.

In the press statement, they demanded the full implementation of Security Council Resolutions 2712, 2720, and 2728, including the facilitation of humanitarian access to Gaza, while condemning all violations and abuses of international law and international humanitarian law.

They also warned against the horrific consequences of the humanitarian situation and looming famine in Gaza as well as the collapse of the health system in the Palestinian territory.

The ministers also voiced their rejection of any attempts at the forcible transfer or displacement of the Palestinians, illegal under international law.

Along these lines, they underscored Egypt’s role in ongoing efforts to reduce the suffering of the civilian population in Gaza as well as in negotiations addressing the issues of a ceasefire, captives, and detainees.

Shoukry, Sejourne, and Safadi also demanded the implementation of the provisional measures decided by the International Court of Justice on 26 January and 28 March 2024.

They called for rapid, safe and unhindered access to humanitarian aid at scale for civilians in Gaza while demanding Israel lift all obstacles to aid delivery and facilitate the use of all land crossings for this purpose.

The foreign ministers also commended the indispensable efforts of the United Nations and its agencies, including UNRWA, in providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to the civilian population in Gaza.

They reiterated the importance of protecting all humanitarian personnel and ensuring their access and freedom of movement into and throughout Gaza, including the north of the strip.

The three top diplomats of Egypt, Jordan, and France also reaffirmed their opposition to any military assault on Rafah, which shelters 1.5 million displaced Palestinians, stressing that any attack will incur a massive toll on human life and exacerbate the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.

They also called for upholding the status quo of Jerusalem’s holy sites, including the role of the Jordanian Jerusalem Awqaf Department (JAD) under the custodianship of the Hashemite Kingdom while expressing their deep concern about the growing pressure against Christian and Muslim communities in Jerusalem.

The ministers stressed the need to implement the two-state solution as per the relevant UN resolutions and establish an independent, sovereign Palestinian State based on the 1967 border lines.

They also stressed the need for the Security Council to address the situation on the ground and the political dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which France, as a permanent member of the Council, is committed to upholding.

Press conference
 

In a press conference following their talks, Egypt’s Shoukry said the situation in Gaza raises many questions about the consistency of the international community in applying fair standards when dealing with the issue of the Palestinian people.

Shoukry also reaffirmed Egypt's rejection of the displacement of Palestinians from their lands, calling at the same time on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities to avoid a famine in Gaza.

As such, he stressed the necessity of reaching a political solution that guarantees the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the two-state solution.

From his part, FM Séjourné said: "France opposes any military action in Rafah, as called for by the Security Council for a ceasefire.”

The top French diplomat stressed that the two-state solution is the basis for a permanent and comprehensive resolution to the Palestinian issue.

For his part, FM Safadi said the international community must act to stop Israeli violations in Gaza.

"Israel must face the consequences of its actions, and the international community must act to stop its violations in Gaza," stressed the Jordanian top diplomat.

Safadi called on the Security Council to take action towards a ceasefire in Gaza.

He also urged Israel to facilitate the entry of aid immediately by opening all crossings while emphasizing the need to hold Israel accountable if it continues to defy international resolutions.

"The Palestinian people deserve their right to freedom and to establish their independent state. “Safadi added, "We agree on rejecting the use of starvation as a war tool in Gaza, and Israel must face what it is doing."

Séjourné said a follow-up meeting between the three top diplomats will be held in Paris to discuss developments.

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