FILE- Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry
CAIRO – 12 September 2018:Egypt will not tolerate terrorist acts or foreign interventions in the Arab countries' internal affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry stated during his speech at the 150th ordinary session of the Arab League (AL) Council.
“I’m sure that all of you noticed the great effort Egypt has been exerting in the past period to eliminate terrorism in the MENA region through field battles and diplomatic efforts and meetings,” Shoukry said.
Shoukry thanked all Arab countries that decided to support Egypt in the fight against terrorism. “It’s crucial for Arab countries to unite and come up with a strategy to fight terrorism and extremism,”Shoukry added.
The Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit affirmed that the Palestinian struggle comes on top of all the Middle East’s crises, as Israel’s violations to the Palestinian rights continue, which is not acceptable anymore.
The session is also set to discuss the latest updates regarding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East's (UNRWA) financial crisis which was described by the commissioner general Pierre Krähenbühl as the worst crises that faced the agency since its establishment.
During a press conference held by Krähenbühl in Cairo on Monday,he thanked the Arab countries for supporting the agency. Krähenbühl said that UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar each pledged to offer the agency up to $50 million; however, the agency still needs another $200 million to continue its humanitarian work with Palestinian refugees.
Last January, the United States announced cutting $350million from its aid to the UNRWA which was faced by a wave of anger and criticism by the Palestinian administration and the Arab world leaders. Later in August, Washington said that it will no longer give financial aid to the agency and will invest this money in a better way within the United States.
During the conference, Krähenbühl said that the decision was “regrettable”.
Earlier on Monday, Shoukry received Krähenbühl, as he expressed his concerns over the challenges facing the UNRWA which provides humanitarian aid to about 5.4 million Palestinian refugees.
Shoukry affirmed Egypt’s support to the vital role played by the UNRWA, and highlighted the responsibility placed on the shoulder of the international community to apply the UN decisions related to the UNRWA, aiming to ease the suffering of the Palestinian people.
Listening to Krähenbühl’s review of the financial challenges the UNRWA is facing in the wake of the US decision to stop funding the UN refugee body,Shoukry welcomed the UN official’s commitment to allow UNRWA’s schools to receive hundreds of thousands of students for this academic year despite financial hardship.
For his part, Krähenbühl praised Egypt’s support to the UNRWA while chairing the agency’s Advisory Commission over the past year. He also thanked Egypt for carrying out intensive communication with international donors to provide the agency with necessary fund.