Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry emphasized the necessity of resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by establishing a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders and said that Egypt is working to address the negative consequences of the conflict and to protect the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights, aspirations, and hopes.
Shoukry also expressed his strong rejection of any attempts to liquidate the Palestinian cause through displacement operations and called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the delivery of humanitarian aid.
He made these remarks during a joint press conference with Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense Mihail Martin on Wednesday, after concluding their talks.
He praised the relations between Egypt and Ireland, which are based on friendship and mutual interest, and appreciated Ireland’s supportive stance on the Palestinian cause and other Arab issues.
Minister Shoukry pointed out that the Rafah crossing is open, and that any repeated calls that ignore the facts on the ground are motivated by political agendas that have nothing to do with the humanitarian dimension.
He said that their discussions focused on the situation in the Gaza Strip, which is suffering from a brutal war waged by the Israeli occupation army for the second month in a row. He said that the humanitarian situation there is intolerable and must be stopped immediately and that the military operations cannot justify the high number of casualties, which reached about 12,000, almost half of whom are children. He stressed that Egypt is providing all the necessary assistance to the civilians in the Strip.
Shoukry urged the international community to exert the required efforts to expedite the delivery of aid, which is often delayed for long periods before entering the Gaza Strip due to Israeli measures.
For his part, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense of Ireland Micheál Martin said that there is an urgent need for a ceasefire to alleviate the humanitarian situation, to ensure that aid reaches those who need it, and to ensure that all countries respect international law and the principles of international humanitarian law.
He commended Egypt’s role as an important voice in the region that calls for de-escalation and works with partners to prevent the spread of violence. He added that he discussed with Minister Shoukry the need to increase the flow of aid to meet the needs of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza and the urgent need to speed up the delivery of such aid.
Martin also said that he discussed the case of the Irish citizen Emily Hand, who was kidnapped on October 7, and expressed his gratitude to Egypt for its efforts regarding the case of Emily Hand and for raising the issue and the priority that Egypt gives to her case.
The Irish official affirmed that his country supports the Palestinian people and their aspirations to establish a state within the framework of the two-state solution and supports the ongoing efforts to reach an agreement on the two-state solution.
He said that Ireland has strong relations with Egypt and that they are working to enhance and develop them, especially in the context of the European Union. He also said that he looks forward to strengthening the dialogue in the coming period to work on resolving the Gaza crisis, finding a way out of the conflict, and ensuring that the people live in peace together.
Meanwhile, Minister Shoukry participated on Wednesday in a virtual meeting of the African Peace and Security Council on Sudan, along with foreign ministers and representatives of the member states of the council and the countries of the expanded mechanism on the Sudan crisis, as well as the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the African Union and the Secretary General of the organization.
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Abu Zeid, said that Minister Shoukry’s speech highlighted the pivotal role of the African Union in addressing African issues and crises, and reviewed Egypt’s efforts on the crisis.
Shoukry said that Egypt’s approach was based on several principles, such as the need to achieve a comprehensive and lasting ceasefire, ensure full access to humanitarian assistance, preserve Sudan’s unity and territorial integrity, respect its sovereignty and legitimate institutions, and protect the state from the threat of collapse.
He added that any real political solution must be based on a purely Sudanese vision that reflects the will of the Sudanese people without any external interference, pressure, military, or political support.
The Foreign Minister also said that Egypt continues its relentless efforts to stop the ongoing conflict in Sudan, and noted that Egypt initiated – through the Cairo summit – the path of the neighboring countries of Sudan, which are the most aware of the complexity of the crisis and the most eager to end it.
He pointed out that the ministerial meetings of this track adopted a comprehensive action plan that focused on ways to end the conflict and create a political climate, a ceasefire, and the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and that the implementation of this plan is underway in coordination with the neighboring countries.
The foreign minister stressed the importance of coordination between the different international and regional tracks to resolve the crisis, emphasized the need to address the humanitarian disaster that Sudan is facing, and urged all parties to fulfill their responsibilities and facilitate the passage, transit, and distribution of humanitarian aid.
Minister Shoukry also called on the donor countries and organizations to expedite the support of the UN Humanitarian Response Plan, honor their commitments to support and assist the Sudanese people and share the burdens of the neighboring countries that host and provide humanitarian services to the displaced Sudanese.