Egyptian-American agreement on necessity of reaching a ceasefire in Gaza, prisoner-swap deal, FM Shoukry



Thu, 21 Mar 2024 - 08:25 GMT


Thu, 21 Mar 2024 - 08:25 GMT

CAIRO – 21 March 2024: Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry asserted on Thursday the importance of refraining from carrying on an Israeli military operation in Rafah city in the Gaza Strip.

In a press conference with his US counterpart Antony Blinken, he said that his talks with Blinken discussed situation in Gaza and the importance of reaching a ceasefire as well as allowing sufficient humanitarian aid into the enclave.

He added that the talks also discussed means of fostering bilateral relations within the framework of facing joint challenges.

He noted that Blinken, during his current visit, had held talks with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi as well as a number of Arab foreign ministers.

Shoukry added that his talks with US counterpart Antony Blinken also tackled means of boosting cooperation in political, economic, social and cultural domains.

He noted that strengthening Egyptian-US relations contributes to reaching regional stability and security.

Shoukry added that Blinken’s meetings in Cairo focused on the Gaza war situation, the importance of reaching a ceasefire, releasing hostages and detainees and increasing humanitarian aid to face such an unprecedented situation.

The meeting also discussed the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights as well as the importance of ending the conflict on the basis of the two-state solution according to the international resolutions, he said.

He added that the international community, including the US, agreed on the importance of avoiding any Israeli military operation in Rafah.

Shoukry added that his meeting with US counterpart Antony Blinken as well as Blinken’s meetings with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, UAE International Cooperation State Minister Reem Al Hashemi and Palestine Liberation Organization's Secretary General Hussein al-Sheikh was frank in which they agreed on the importance of joint action.

Shoukry said they also agreed on continuing cooperation to deal with the current issues to avoid the expansion of conflict.

The talks also discussed continuing coordination and to direct experts to hold meetings soon to discuss concrete steps to double aid, the top diplomat added.

Shoukry expressed hope to overcome the current situation and reach a new phase in the region through ending the conflict on the basis of the two-state solution via establishing a Palestinian state on the borders of the 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital.

US State Secretary Antony Blinken said there is a consensus on the importance of reaching a permanent and sustainable ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and releasing hostages to allow more humanitarian aid.

In a joint press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Thursday, Blinken added that he held talks with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE and Qatar as well as the Palestinian Authority concerning the situation in Gaza and the possibility of reaching a permanent ceasefire.

There are talks now with Egypt, Qatar and Israel to find the best ways to return to the table of negotiations, Blinken said, adding that Hamas Movement should agree on the negotiations’ outcome.

He added that he discussed with Shoukry the situation in Rafah city and possible ways to deal with threats especially that there are about one million people in the city.

Blinken pointed out the need to deliver more humanitarian aid into Gaza Strip and stopping the death of children, explaining that all residents of Gaza are suffering from severe food shortages.

He also confirmed that the ‘ground route’ is the best way to deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza, pointing out that his country is taking steps to establish a sea port that will deliver aid to residents of Gaza.

Blinken stressed the necessity of establishing an independent Palestinian state, stressing that this is a right of the Palestinians.      

The US Secretary of State also stressed Washington’s rejection of displacing the residents of Gaza or Israel’s reoccupation of the Strip.

He praised the Palestinian Authority movements to form a new government that represents all Palestinian factions.





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