President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi
In a phone call with European Council President Charles Michel on Wednesday, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi affirmed the need to work urgently to resume direct negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
The phone call comes less than two weeks after an Egypt-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip came into effect, ending 11 days of Israeli aggression on the enclave.
Egypt sent its intelligence chief, Abbas Kamel, to meet with the Israeli and Palestinian sides starting Sunday to hold talks with key figures from both sides in a bid to consolidate the ceasefire.
During the phone call, El-Sisi briefed Michel on the continuous Egyptian efforts on various levels to solidify the ceasefire between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, a statement by the Egyptian presidency read.
This comes in parallel with Egypt’s coordination with the international community to launch the reconstruction process in the Gaza Strip based on the Egyptian initiative in this regard.
El-Sisi allocated $500 million for the reconstruction of the strip a few days before the ceasefire was reached. The recent Israeli airstrikes on Gaza destroyed dozens of buildings and displaced tens of thousands of Palestinians.
Michel praised the successful Egyptian efforts that led to the ceasefire and de-escalation in the strip, affirming keenness to intensify coordination with El-Sisi in this regard.
On Libya, El-Sisi and Michel agreed on continuing bilateral coordination to support the current transitional stage in the country, until elections are held in December.
This should contribute to restoring the state’s national institutions and ensure the exit of mercenaries and armed foreign militias from Libyan territories, they agreed.
El-Sisi and Michel also discussed the need to ensure continuous European support to African countries in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
They also focused on the need to encourage big European companies to establish more investment projects in Africa.
The Egyptian president affirmed Egypt’s keenness to boost relations with the European Union as a strategic partner in various fields.
El-Sisi also expressed keenness to coordinate with the EU on regional issues facing the two sides.
El-Sisi voiced Egypt’s aspiration to expand the cooperation horizon with the EU to launch a true partnership in various political, military and economic fields.
Michel hailed the strong and special relations between the European Union and Egypt.
He expressed aspiration to boost the cooperation between the two sides at various levels in light of the common interests and in face of mutual challenges, given Egypt’s importance in the Middle East and Africa.