Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy arrived in Paris on Saturday for a three-day visit to participate in a series of meetings centered on the volatile situation in the region.
Ministers and officials from a number of Arab countries will join Fahmy in various meetings with US Secretary of State John Kerry and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
The two western officials will hold bilateral talks on Saturday before their meetings with their Arab counterparts. The highlight of the diplomatic forum is expected to be a discussion on the current Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
“The main purpose of this international meeting is to bring together Arab countries and US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss how to move forward with the Palestinian issue,” Badr Abdelatty, Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said.
Abdelatty said that Fahmy intends on emphasising several points regarding the issue, specifically the need to return to the 1967 borders and to end the Israeli crackdown on Palestinian political activists.
Fahmy will be in attendance alongside officials from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Kuwait, UAE and Qatar, as well as Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al-Araby and Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki.
Fahmy will also meet privately with Kerry on Sunday and Fabius on Monday to discuss other regional issues, including the situation in Egypt after the 30 June uprising and the situation in Syria amid claims of the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.
According to Abdelatty, the Egyptian minister intends to discuss the future of Egypt-US and Egypt-France relations, with both officials pushing for further cooperation between the countries on matters of trade and tourism.
France has been calling on EU foreign ministers to join in a strong condemnation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Various sources, including the Syrian opposition, claim that over 1,400 people died in a chemical weapons attack near Damascus on August 21.
France and the US are among the countries championing the call for an international strike against the Syrian regime. The issue remains complicated as the United Nations Security Council, the only body legally authorised to mandate the strike, continues to be divided over the call for military intervention in Syria.