Egypt, Jordan’s FMs discuss Palestinian reconciliation
CAIRO – 31 May 2018: A ministerial meeting held in Cairo brought together Egypt’s foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry; his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi; and the secretary general of the PLO Executive Committee, Saeb Erekat, as well as the three countries’ heads of intelligence to discuss the latest updates of the Palestinian cause.
The Arab officials stressed their countries’ firm position on the Arab rejection to any unilateral actions related concerning East Jerusalem, emphasizing that occupied East Jerusalem is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories.
The meeting also reviewed ways to boost coordination between Arab and international parties to resume peace talks. The participants exchanged views on the Arab efforts in cooperation with the UN Security Council to provide international protection for the Palestinian people and granting Palestine a full membership in the United Nations.
The Egyptian side asserted the importance of moving forward in the Palestinian reconciliation process as a major step towards achieving the Palestinian unity that would contribute to a unified Palestinian position in any future negotiations.
It came amid a wave of anger at US President Donald Trump’s decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the embassy there, sparking protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip at the same time.
In their final statement, the ministers endorsed a peace plan presented by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the United Nation Security Council in February and his call for an international peace conference by mid-2018 with the key goals of full UN membership for the state of Palestine and a timeframe for a two-state solution.
The plan calls for mutual recognition by the states of Israel and Palestine based on 1967 borders, and formation of “an international multilateral mechanism” to assist the two parties in resolving all final status issues and implementing them within a set period.
Last September, Hamas announced the dissolution of its administrative committee in the Gaza Strip, inviting the Government of National Reconciliation to assume its duties and hold general elections. The movement affirmed it would comply with the Social Reconciliation Accord signed in 2011.
Since signing the agreement between Fatah and Hamas, several Egyptian delegations have been visiting Gaza, and vice versa, in order to coordinate implementing all of the agreement points and articles; however, a few points still need further discussions between the Palestinian parties.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that there is no country as vital to the Palestinian cause as Egypt due to its historical and political position in the region. “Egypt has an opinion, a position and an interest in the Palestinian cause,” said Abbas.