Egypt prioritizes Gaza's humanitarian needs, says Shoukry



Mon, 20 May 2024 - 01:06 GMT


Mon, 20 May 2024 - 01:06 GMT

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry handed over the presidency of the UN Climate Change Conference to COP28 President-designate Sultan Al-Jaber on Thursday.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry handed over the presidency of the UN Climate Change Conference to COP28 President-designate Sultan Al-Jaber on Thursday.

CAIRO - 20 May 2024: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry emphasized that the Rafah border crossing and humanitarian needs for Palestinians in Gaza have been a priority for Egypt since the beginning of the conflict.


He pointed out that approximately 65% to 70% of humanitarian aid has come from Egypt, either through the government or Egyptian civil society.


In an interview with Bahrain’s "Akhbar Al Khaleej" newspaper on the sidelines of the Arab League Summit in Manama, Shoukry highlighted Egypt’s commitment to keeping the Rafah crossing open. He mentioned ongoing coordination with partners to persuade Israel to allow more humanitarian aid through and to overcome numerous obstacles imposed by Israel.


Addressing Israel’s responsibility in providing necessary guarantees for humanitarian aid delivery to Gaza, Shoukry stated that due to the ongoing conflict and military presence at the Rafah crossing, it is impossible to ensure safe passage for aid or secure drivers and humanitarian workers. He stressed that the ongoing military operations hinder humanitarian efforts and underscored Israel’s responsibility as the occupying power to facilitate aid through the five crossings it controls.


Regarding continuous Israeli provocations and incursions into Rafah, which some view as a violation of the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel, Shoukry affirmed that Egypt’s policies and decisions are based on national interests.


He emphasized that relations with Israel are governed by mechanisms and tools that guide bilateral relations, which evolve according to each country’s perspective on maintaining national security and sovereignty.


Shoukry added that every action warrants an appropriate reaction, underscoring the need to maintain national security, safeguard the interests of the Egyptian people, and take actions that serve these interests while avoiding uncalculated adventures.


Commenting on the Arab League Summit recently held in Manama, Shoukry noted its significance, especially given the worsening crisis in Gaza. He highlighted the importance of Arab unity and a unified stance on the Palestinian issue, the foremost central issue for the Arab world.


Shoukry stressed the need for a strong Arab voice advocating an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, ensuring the entry of relief aid, addressing the deteriorating humanitarian situation, and preventing any internal or external displacement of Palestinians that could undermine the Palestinian cause.


Shoukry commended Bahrain’s significant efforts in successfully organizing the Arab League Summit and fostering a unified Arab vision on addressing the Gaza crisis and other regional conflicts, such as those in Sudan, Libya, South Lebanon, and Syria. He noted that despite the pressing nature of various issues, the Palestinian cause remains the top priority amid the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza.


Shoukry stated that the summit reflected the shared vision of Arab leaders towards enhancing Arab national security through solidarity and addressing development and education issues. He praised Bahrain for its focus on these areas during the summit.


Regarding Bahrain-Egypt relations, Shoukry highlighted their significance and the strong bonds of fraternity and affection between the two nations and peoples. He emphasized the exemplary nature of these relations, driven by mutual interests and the desire to strengthen this partnership.



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