Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with envoy for the UN Secretary General for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolai Mladenov, Sunday to discuss developments in the Palestinian issue.
During the meeting, the pair particularly discussed developments in the Gaza Strip.
Shoukry is looking to find ways to push through a revival in the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, in accordance with recognised international terms of reference.
The meeting comes as Egypt is looking into candidacy for the North Africa non-permanent UN Security Council seat for 2016-2017. Shoukry had previously given assurances that Egypt has Arab support since the Arab League’s ministerial meetings in March 2013. He also mentioned that Egypt has gained African support in the matter, garnered during the African summit in January 2015.
Shoukry stressed Egypt’s principled position that the Palestinian issue remains the core of the Middle East conflict. He added that there must be a just, lasting and comprehensive solution leading to the establishment of an independent, sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital, in a manner which achieve stability in the region.
The meeting dealt “at length” with the Gaza Strip’s reconstruction in light of donor efforts to implement their pledges made at a Cairo conference on 12 October, 2014.
The UN envoy presented the medical and humanitarian situation in the Gaza following his recent visit there, as well as the materials that are transferred to Gaza through the UN.
Shoukry stressed, during the meeting, the importance of continuing international efforts to lift the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip.
During the Gaza Reconstruction Conference in Cairo in late 2014, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi reiterated Egypt’s support for Palestine, emphasising to Israel that it is “time to end the conflict”.
International community representatives had called for a lasting solution to the Gaza conflict, to avoid another turn in the cycle of destructive conflict.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had condemned Israel for breaking treaties and conventions, and for continuing with ambitions to “take over” Palestine.
Abbas said the three wars in the past six years have left over 3,600 people dead, over 18,000 injured, and heavy destruction of homes and infrastructure.
Over 2,140 Palestinians were killed during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, a 50-day Israeli military operation aimed at destroying Hamas’ ability to attack Israeli land with rockets and underground tunnels. Of the dead, 942 were women and children. The Israeli death toll was 69, including three civilians and one child.