The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukry, discussed with the UN Secretary General António Guterres on Tuesday, the means of coordinating the Middle East’s regional issues between Egypt and the UN.
During the meeting which was held throughout Shoukry’s visit to New York, he stressed the importance of the UN’s role in pushing the peace talks, particularly in Libya and Syria, according to a statement from the foreign ministry’s spokesperson Ahmed Hafez.
They also discussed the Palestinian issue and the challenges which the Palestinian people recently faced, including the necessity of keeping the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and ensuring the delivery of aid to the Palestinians, until a fair solution to the Palestinian issue is reached.
Hafez added that Shoukry and Guterres exchanged their viewpoints regarding countering terrorism, and unifying the international efforts for combating the rise of extremist ideas. Shoukry stressed the importance of adopting an international strategy in order to cease financing terrorism.
In the course of the meeting, Shoukry briefed Guterres on Egypt’s efforts during its presidency over the Group of 77 and China, which aimed to combat poverty and adopt a fair economic system which considers the developing countries’ concerns.
Furthermore, Shoukry reviewed Egypt’s priorities during its presidency of the African Union, which include supporting social and economic development through exerting greater efforts to achieve Africa’s development agenda for 2063, as well as countering terrorism from its roots. Egypt also aims to activate the African Free Trade Zone.
He stated that Egypt is looking forward for the UN Secretary General to hold a meeting with the purpose of establishing a free nuclear weapons zone in the Middle East, according to the Arab proposal which was lately adopted by the UN.
Moreover, Shoukry met with Achim Steiner, director of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), in order to discuss the mutual cooperation between the organisation and Egypt. In the course of the meeting, Shoukry praised the UNDP’s efforts for supporting Egypt’s environmental programmes and activities.