Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry receives UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, November, 2014 – Press photo/AFP
CAIRO – 12 June 2018: Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry affirmed Monday Egypt’s long-held stance on seeking a political solution to the Syrian crisis during his meeting with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura in Cairo.
Shoukry said that the Egyptian state seeks a political solution that would preserve the unity of the Syrian state and its territorial integrity, and stop the bloodshed, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid reported.
The FM affirmed Egypt’s keenness to support de Mistura’s efforts, saying that the political solution in Syria has to be compatible with the aspirations of the Syrian people. He added that it is time to unite the efforts exerted by the international community to find a final and comprehensive solution to the crisis.
De Mistura praised Egypt’s efforts to solve the Syrian crisis on the political and humanitarian levels, expressing the UN's intention to boost coordination with Egypt concerning the situation in Syria, Abu Zeid said.
De Mistura’s visit to Cairo comes within the framework of the UN keenness to exchange visions and intensify coordination with Egypt to address ways to achieve a political solution to the crisis in Syria, Abu Zeid said.
In the beginning of the meeting, de Mistura reviewed with Shoukry the developments regarding the political, security and humanitarian situation in Syria, and the former’s assessment of the international and regional efforts to carry forward the political process.
Egypt’s unchangeable stance
In the Arab League Summits in 2015, 2017 and 2018, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi voiced concerns about the military escalation in Syria, calling for stopping the bloodshed and achieving a political solution.
During his meeting with de Mistura in late February, on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, Shoukry reiterated Egypt's rejection of any military solution in Syria, calling on all Syrian parties to continue their talks to find a political settlement to the Syrian crisis, according to Abu Zeid.
Former Undersecretary of Egypt’s General Intelligence Mohammad Rashad said in press remarks that Egypt will be continuously refusing U.S. requests to send armed forces to Syria. He added that Egypt is not interested to militarily intervene in Syria.
In January, Egypt's Foreign Minister Shoukry received a phone call from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, during which Shoukry stressed the importance of supporting the aspirations of the Syrian people, protecting their national unity and preserving Syria's institutions. He asserted Egypt’s efforts to defuse the crisis in Syria, especially the international resolutions in Geneva under U.N. auspices.
He discussed the ongoing military operations in Northern Syria by the Turkish forces, pointing out the importance of respecting the sovereignty of Syria and not exposing the Syrian people to further killing and destruction.
During a meeting with a delegation of the Syrian opposition led by Nasr al Hariri, head of the Syrian High Negotiations Committee (HNC), Shoukry reiterated Egypt's keenness on achieving progress in the Syrian political process during the coming phase, calling for consultations and coordination among all parties.
During a press conference held in Minsk with his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Makei, Shoukry affirmed that Egypt supports the continuity of the Syrian negotiations between the government and the opposition under the supervision of the United Nations to meet the aspirations of the Syrian people for a stable and secure country.
“We believe that Syria’s territorial integrity and constitution must be preserved during the negotiations, as we are working to facilitate the return of Syrians who left their country,” Shoukry said.