Egyptian FM Shoukry to participate in urgent meeting in Brussels to support Palestinian issues

Ahram Online , Monday 29 Jan 2018

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (AFP)
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (AFP)

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is set to fly to Brussels on Tuesday to participate in an urgent meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, which is in charge of coordinating the international assistance provided to the Palestinian Authority.

In an official statement, Egypt foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said the meeting is being held under a European initiative in light of the recent developments in Jerusalem, and is mainly aimed to discuss the peace process’ prospects, and ways to maintain a coherent and unified international stance regarding the Palestinian cause.

The Ad Hoc Liaison committee was established in 1993 by Norway, EU, UN, World Bank and the IMF to promote dialogue between donors to the Palestinian people.

Tuesday's meeting will be co-chaired by the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, and Norway's foreign minister.

The meeting will be attended by top officials from the regional and international parties concerned with the Palestinian issue.

It will discuss ways of pushing the Palestinian national reconciliation process in light of the agreement signed by the factions to end divisions in Cairo in October 2017.

"Shoukry's participation in the meeting comes as part of Egypt’s efforts to continue consultations and coordination of positions and actions with the international actors and other regional stakeholders concerned with the Palestinian question, in order to advance the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis in accordance with the international terms of reference, and establish the Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital," Abu Zeid said.

According to the Egyptian spokesman, such attempts come ahead of the assembly of the Arab League ministerial meeting on Jerusalem on 1 February, which aims to assess the situation and determine the next necessary steps in order to defend on the city of Jerusalem.

Tuesday's meeting will come nearly two weeks after the US announced it would hold back $65 million - more than half its planned contribution this year - from the United Nations’ Relief and Welfare Agency (UNRWA), demanding that the agency make unspecified reforms.

On Monday, UNRWA employees in Gaza protested against the US decision to cut the aid, which comes nearly two months after a controversial US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital. 

Schools, clinics and food distribution centres in the Gaza Strip were closed on Monday due to a one-day strike by the 13,000 employees of the United Nations agency that serves the Palestinians, according to Reuters.

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