EU's Ashton to visit Egypt ahead of Gaza donors' conference

Ahram Online, Tuesday 30 Sep 2014

EU High Representative Catherine Ashton to visit Cairo for a donors' conference to rebuild Gaza

Catherine Ashton
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (Photo: Reuters)

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is expected to visit Cairo on 11 October for a donors' conference on the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip, state news agency MENA reported.

Egypt announced early in September it would host a donors' conference, jointly chaired with Norway, on funding the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip following the ravaging war with Israel in July and August.

The densely populated Palestinian enclave faces a considerable price tag of $7.8 billion for reconstruction, according to estimates by the Palestinian Authority in September. A 50-day Israeli bombardment destroyed entire neighbourhoods and flattened major infrastructure.

Ashton last visited Cairo in April ahead of presidential elections won by former army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

In her upcoming visit, Ashton is scheduled to hold talks with top Egyptian government officials, including Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, and hold one-to-one discussions on the sidelines of the conference, MENA said.

The fighting between Israeli forces and Islamist militant group Hamas, which ended with a truce on 26 August, killed over 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 73 Israelis, most of them soldiers.

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