Egypt emphasises EU's crucial role in ending Gaza war: Shoukry to Josep Borrell

Ahram Online , Sunday 26 May 2024

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry highlighted on Sunday the crucial role sought from influential international parties, including the European Union, in supporting the ongoing efforts to halt the Israeli war on Gaza and prevent further loss of Palestinian lives.

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry meets with the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell in the Belgian capital, Brussels, 26 May, 2024. Photo: Egyptian Foreign Ministry

During a meeting with the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell in the Belgian capital, Brussels, both sides discussed the dire humanitarian, security, and political aspects of the crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Furthermore, Shoukry and Borrel explored ways to mitigate the consequences of the crisis in Gaza and advance a political path to implement the two-state solution, thus resolving the crisis comprehensively.

According to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry's Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid, Shoukry expressed his appreciation for the significant efforts of the EU top official in alleviating the humanitarian crisis and its repercussions.

Furthermore, both parties stressed the urgent need for a ceasefire in Gaza as well as a cessation of the Israeli military operations in the Palestinian city of Rafah.

For his part, Shoukry reiterated concerns about the devastating humanitarian impact of the Israeli military operations in Rafah on over 1.4 million Palestinians and the broader implications for regional peace and stability.

Gaza aid entry

During the meeting, Shoukry and Borrel emphasised the importance of ensuring unhindered and safe access to humanitarian aid and relief supplies throughout Gaza to address the urgent needs of its residents.

In addition, Egypt's top diplomat and the EU official asserted the necessity for Israel to protect and respect humanitarian workers and refrain from targeting the facilities of international relief agencies.

They further stressed that Israel should facilitate the movement of relief teams in the Gaza Strip per international humanitarian law.

In this regard, Shoukry called on Israel to fulfil its responsibilities as the occupying power by removing barriers to aid entry by opening all land crossings between Israel and Gaza and ensuring secure conditions for international relief efforts in Gaza.

During the meeting, Shoukry also stressed that "Egypt rejects Israel's insistence on controlling all of Gaza's crossings as a tool to tighten the siege and starve the Palestinian people in Gaza, creating an uninhabitable reality in the strip." 

Moreover, he affirmed Egypt's categorical rejection of any attempts to displace Palestinians from their lands or liquidate the Palestinian cause.
Arab-EU joint efforts

Moreover, both parties discussed Arab efforts and joint action with the European Union to address the Gaza crisis, stressing the need to find a political framework to implement relevant international legitimate decisions and support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

Shoukry is visiting Brussels to attend the European Union's Foreign Affairs Council meeting alongside Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit and several Arab foreign ministers.

The Egyptian FM's visit comes as part of the continuous Arab efforts aimed at consulting with European parties to end the brutal Israeli war on Gaza.

On Friday, the Egyptian foreign minister participated in an Arab-Islamic ministerial meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in the French capital, Paris, to discuss the actions needed to halt the Israeli war on Gaza.

On Sunday, 200 aid trucks from Egypt started entering the strip through the Karm Abu Salem border crossing, per a phone call agreement between President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and US President Joe Biden on Friday.

In early May, Israel launched its assault on the Palestinian city of Rafah on Gaza’s southern edge, taking over the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt for the first time since Israel pulled out its soldiers and settlers from the strip in 2005, thus preventing the entry of humanitarian aid to a population facing famine conditions.

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