Egypt and Cyprus agree on importance of Gaza ceasefire, delivery of humanitarian aid

Ahram Online , Tuesday 4 Jun 2024

Egypt and Cyrus agree on the necessity of a ceasefire in Gaza and the delivery of humanitarian aid as soon as possible, Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry said in a press conference in Cairo along with his Cypriot counterpart Constantinos Kombos following their talks.

Constantinos Kombos and Sameh Shoukry
A snap shot of Egypt s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry with his Cypriot counterpart Minister Constantinos Kombos during their joint press conference on Tuesday 4 June, 2024.


During the press conference, Shoukry stated that the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing had become a theatre for military operations, hindering the entry of humanitarian assistance into Gaza from Egypt since early May.

He noted efforts to bring in aid through the Karm Abu Salem face difficulties and called for the restoration of safe conditions for the Rafah crossing so it can operate again.

Two weeks ago, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and US President Joe Biden agreed to temporarily facilitate the delivery of aid and fuel to the UN through the Karm Abu Salem crossing until a legal mechanism for reopening the Rafah crossing from the Palestinian side is established.

Shoukry underscored the intensive Egyptian coordination to provide increased humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

He also highlighted Egypt’s prolonged engagement with the United States and Qatar to achieve a ceasefire, prisoner exchange, and the recognition of the Palestinian state.

He emphasized the international community’s commitment to the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

Shoukry expressed his anticipation for scheduling a meeting of the high-level intergovernmental committee at the level of presidents, highlighting the significance of thorough preparation for this momentous occasion.

In the joint press conference, Kombos underscored the importance of adhering to UN resolutions, reiterating Cyprus' unwavering support for the Palestinian people's right to self-determination.

The Cypriot foreign minister commended Egypt's leadership for playing a pivotal role in fostering regional stability.

He stressed the importance for the international community to recognize and appreciate Egypt's unwavering support for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, exemplified by the facilitation of aid delivery through the Rafah Crossing.

“The Rafah crossing is an essential lifeline for Palestinians and there is no alternative to it."

"We urgently need an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip," he said, emphasizing the importance of adhering to international law to resolve the region's crises.

The minister warned that "the escalation of military operations in Gaza and the Palestinian city of Rafah will have dire consequences," stressing the urgent need to halt such actions.

Kombos also reaffirmed the strong historical ties and shared vision between Cyprus and Egypt, particularly in the realm of political affairs.

Egyptian-Cypriot talks and agreements

Earlier Tuesday, Shoukry and Kombos held talks in Cairo where they discussed strategic relations and bilateral cooperation, especially economic relations.

The two ministers signed a memorandum of understanding to employ Egyptian labour in Cyprus. This is the second major MoU of its kind after the first in November 2022.

This new step aims to benefit from the efficiency and professionalism of Egyptian workers, enhance their organized migration, and reduce irregular migration, according to the Egyptian foreign ministry.

Kombos also revealed that his talks with Shoukry included a discussion about cooperation in the field of energy and the transfer of Cypriot gas to Egypt for liquification.

Short link: