File Photo: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (Reuters)
Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry will head to the Saudi capital Riyadh on Thursday for preparatory meetings before the start of an Arab Summit early next week, the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
The gathering of Arab foreign ministers will address a number of major regional issues including recent developments in Palestine and the "escalation [by Israeli forces] against [Palestinian] civilians over the past few days," the statement said.
Around 30 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds have been injured by Israeli forces during thousands-strong border protests over the past two weeks. The protesters are demanding a return to the homes that their ancestors were forced to flee when Israel was created in 1948.
Israeli's use of force against the protesters has been condemned by Egypt and other countries, including Russia.
The participants in the Arab Summit, which is scheduled for Sunday in the Saudi city of Dammam, will seek to prevent Israel from gaining a rotating seat on the UN Security Council.
The summit will also discuss the situation in war-torn Arab countries including Syria, Libya, Yemen and Iraq.
The gathering will also tackle counterterrorism efforts, Arab national security, as well as efforts to "strengthen joint Arab action in the face of foreign interference in Arab affairs."
During his visit, Shoukry will hold bilateral talks with Arab counterparts on regional and international issues of mutual interest, the ministry added.
The Arab League has also sent a delegation to Saudi Arabia for preparatory meetings.