Egypt’s FM urges continuation of EU support for Palestinian cause

Ahram Online , Sunday 20 Jun 2021

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry affirmed Egypt's aspiration to continue cooperation with the EU during the coming period to push forward the path for peace in the Middle East

Sameh Shoukry

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry expressed his aspiration for the continuation of the European Union’s (EU) role in supporting the Palestinian cause at all levels, as he met on Sunday with EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Sven Koopmans.

Receiving Koopmans in Cairo, Shoukry affirmed Egypt’s aspiration to continue cooperation with the EU during the coming period to push forward the path for peace in the Middle East, the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Their meeting comes a month after Israel and Palestinian factions agreed on an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. The ceasefire ended 11 days of Israeli airstrikes that killed more than 250 and injured thousands of Palestinians.

Shoukry affirmed to Koopmans that Egypt continues to exert efforts to consolidate the ceasefire in the enclave to achieve the desired calm and stability.

These efforts come in parallel with the reconstruction efforts and the efforts to meet the developmental needs of the Palestinian people during the coming period, Shoukry noted.

The Egyptian FM also affirmed the necessity for a real political will and an appropriate climate to revive the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations path urgently and establish an independent Palestinian state.

Shoukry affirmed the need that this Palestinian state be established on the 4 June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The minister also congratulated Koopmans on assuming the post.

Koopmans hailed Egypt’s role in supporting the peace efforts in the Middle East, which caused a ceasefire to be reached in the Gaza Strip.

The EU diplomat also praised Egypt’s continuous endeavour to achieve Palestinian reconciliation.

He expressed his keenness to continue coordination and consultation with Egypt to support the current endeavour to push forward the peace path.

Koopmans underscored the importance of the role of the quartet in the Middle East during the coming period and how it contributes to achieving security and stability in the region.

The Madrid Quartet, involved in mediating the peace process between the Israeli and Palestinian sides, includes the United Nations, the United States, the EU, and Russia.

Cairo has intensified its diplomatic efforts to revive peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, which broke down in 2014.

In a phone call earlier in June with European Council President Charles Michel, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi affirmed the need to work urgently to resume direct negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.

Shortly after it brokered the Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire in late May, Egypt dispatched the chief of the General Intelligence Service Abbas Kamel to talk with key figures from the Israeli and Palestinian sides in a bid to consolidate the ceasefire.

Egypt also launched a massive initiative to support the reconstruction process in the Gaza Strip after Israeli air strikes last month destroyed hundreds of commercial and residential buildings and displaced tens of thousands of Palestinians.

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