Sisi praises Biden's role in Egypt-sponsored ceasefire between Palestine, Israel

Ahram Online , Friday 21 May 2021

Biden also extended thanks to Sisi over the Egyptian efforts exerted to reach the ceasefire agreement

Palestinians celebrate in Ramallah city center AFP
Palestinians celebrate in Ramallah city center in support of the resistance in Gaza, after the cease-fire between the Palestinians and Israel late in the early hours of May 21, 2021, in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. (AFP)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has expressed his appreciation to the US president Joe Biden for the role he played in rendering the Egyptian ceasefire deal in Gaza successful, the Presidential spokesman said on Friday, only one hour before the truce goes into effect.

Egypt has mediated a ceasefire deal between Israel and the Palestinian factions to end an 11-day military operation in the Gaza Strip, which claimed over 250 Palestinian lives and injured hundreds.

The "simultaneous and mutual ceasefire" came into effect as of Friday 21 May at 2am (23:00 GMT) Palestine time, while Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip have taken to the streets to celebrate the step.

El-Sisi said he exchanged views with Biden on finding a formulation to de-escalate tensions in the Gaza strip over a phone call on Thursday, noting that he and the US president were on the same page regarding the need to manage the conflict through diplomatic means.

"The visions between us were consistent concerning the need to manage the conflict between all parties through the diplomatic means, a matter that demonstrates the depth and strength of the strategic relations between Egypt and the United States," El-Sisi noted.

The Egyptian president expressed his aspiration to promote bilateral ties with the US and achieve more common interests and spaces to establish just and comprehensive peace in the region, the statement added.

Biden also extended thanks to El Sisi over the Egyptian efforts exerted to reach the ceasefire agreement.

"I extend my sincere gratitude to President El-Sisi and the senior Egyptian officials who have played such a critical role in this diplomacy," the US President said.

Biden's statements were made during a press conference he held to comment on the Palestinian-Israeli truce.

The recent escalation was sparked on 10 May when Israel cracked down on Palestinian demonstrators protesting Israel’s plan to forcibly expel Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah district in East Jerusalem.

Gaza infrastructure was devastated by Israeli airstrikes. Also, twelve people in Israel were killed during the 11-day action-reaction loop, while thousands were sent into shelters for fear of the Palestinian rockets.

Egypt, over the past several days, sent a delegation to Ramallah city in the central West Bank and Tel Aviv more than once to mediate an immediate ceasefire.

Egypt is set to send two security delegations to Tel Aviv and the Palestinian territories to follow up on the implementation of the truce's measures as per directives issued by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

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