Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Shoukry Meets Borrellon Sidelines of WEF in Riyadh

Sun 28 Apr 2024 | 02:57 PM
By Ahmad El-Assasy

On Sunday, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with Josep Borrell, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in Riyadh, during the World Economic Forum. The meeting underscored the strengthening of ties between Egypt and the EU, following the signing of a political declaration on March 17 to elevate their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

According to Ahmed Abu Zeid, the spokesperson and Director of Public Diplomacy at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, the meeting welcomed the ongoing high-level coordination on various international and regional issues. Both sides expressed their commitment to continuing the political dialogue on various matters.

A significant portion of the discussion was dedicated to the crisis in Gaza. Both Shoukry and Borrell extensively reviewed the latest developments in the security and humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. They exchanged assessments and results of their communications with various regional and international parties aimed at ending the war in Gaza and addressing the humanitarian tragedy faced by its residents. Borrell was keen to understand from Minister Shoukry the developments in the ongoing negotiations between Hamas and Israel to achieve an immediate ceasefire and the exchange of detainees and hostages, as well as enhancing the delivery of humanitarian aid to the sector.

Ambassador Abu Zeid noted that both parties reaffirmed their opposition to any potential Israeli ground military operation in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. Minister Shoukry emphasized the importance of the EU and international parties pressuring Israel to prevent such a military operation and stop any attempts to forcibly displace the people of Gaza or resolve the Palestinian issue unilaterally. Shoukry also highlighted Egypt's reliance on the efforts of the EU High Representative to forge a strong, unified European stance advocating for a ceasefire and pressuring Israel to remove obstacles to aid delivery and abandon any unilateral actions not only in Gaza but also in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Furthermore, he stressed the importance of not separating efforts to achieve a ceasefire from working towards a comprehensive and effective political process for resolving the Palestinian issue based on a two-state solution.

From his side, the EU High Representative affirmed the EU's support for Egypt's pivotal role in stopping the war in Gaza and mitigating its consequences on various levels, expressing his readiness to actively engage in efforts to end this fierce conflict.

The spokesperson concluded his statements by indicating that both sides agreed to continue close consultations in the coming days to push towards ending the war in Gaza and launching a serious and effective political process for a comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian issue based on the two-state solution, leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the June 4, 1967 borders.