Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan hailed on Wednesday the recent Egyptian efforts in de-escalating the situation in Gaza after mediating a ceasefire deal between the Palestinian factions and Israel to end the 11-day bombing of the besieged enclave.
In a phone call, Khan told President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi that reaching such a deal reflects the significance of Egypt at the Arab and Islamic levels, according to a statement by Egyptian presidential spokesman Bassam Rady.
"The stability of Egypt is a pillar for the stability of the Middle East and the Islamic world as a whole," Khan was quoted as saying, according to Rady.
Khan also condemned "the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians, especially women and children, and the sacrilege against Al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan," his office said in a statement.
The Pakistani premier stressed the importance of settling the Palestine issue in a just manner, saying Palestinians in Gaza are living in an "open prison," according to his office's statement.
The premier called for the total withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem. He also called for the establishment of an independent, viable, and contiguous Palestinian State, as part of a two-state solution, with the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
El-Sisi reiterated to Khan the importance of resuming the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations to settle the Palestinian cause and end what he called the "vicious circle of violence," Rady said.
The 11-day fighting has been deemed the most vicious since Israeli's 51-day assault on Gaza in 2014, as Israel upped aggression on the strip with artillery and airstrikes.
The Israeli offensive on Gaza killed 253 Palestinians, including 66 children and 39 women, and destroyed hundreds of homes.
The death toll in Israel from rockets fired by Palestinian factions in the strip stood at 13.
The call between the Pakistani PM and El-Sisi also touched upon issues of cooperation as the Egyptian president praised the level of "positive" relations between Egypt and Pakistan, and the convergence between the policies and objectives of the two countries as to international and regional issues.
El-Sisi stressed to Khan the importance of promoting bilateral cooperation with Pakistan in various fields, especially in combating terrorism, according to the statement.
El-Sisi and Khan concurred on the importance of strengthening cooperation in this field, including combating extremist ideologies amid the "pioneering" role of Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world’s top religious institution, in this regard.
The Egptian President also called for exchanging expertise, especially concerning Egypt's economic program.
Both sides agreed on the necessity of activating existing dialogue mechanisms between the two countries, especially at the political level, the statement pointed out.