Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Sisi, Guterres Discuss Ceasefire & Prisoner Exchange in Gaza

Sun 24 Mar 2024 | 02:47 PM
By Ahmad El-Assasy

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to discuss several international and regional topics, with a focus on the ongoing situation in the Gaza Strip. The primary agenda was to expedite efforts for an immediate ceasefire and facilitate a prisoner exchange.

The meeting, held at the presidential palace, was attended by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, General Abbas Kamel, head of Egypt's General Intelligence Service, Philippe Lazzarini, the UNRWA Commissioner-General, and Elena Panova, the UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt.

Presidential spokesperson Dr. Ahmed Fahmy reported that the discussions covered various global and regional issues, emphasizing the developments in Gaza. President El-Sisi outlined Egypt's intensive efforts to achieve an immediate halt to hostilities and the exchange of detainees, alongside ensuring adequate humanitarian aid delivery to the victims in the sector, either overland in coordination with relevant UN agencies or via airdrops, especially in northern Gaza areas.

According to the statement, President El-Sisi commended the UN Secretary-General’s stance on the ongoing crisis, his commitment to international law and humanitarian principles, and his continued advocacy for international action to end the conflict and protect civilians. El-Sisi stressed the importance of the Security Council fulfilling its responsibilities in this regard and highlighted the dangers of some countries cutting support for UNRWA, which he described as collective punishment of innocent Palestinians.

Guterres expressed deep appreciation for Egypt's pivotal role in regional stability, lauding its efforts to push for a ceasefire in Gaza and ensuring the Rafah border crossing remained open consistently over the past months since the crisis began. He mentioned his recent visit to the crossing, praising the significant Egyptian effort to manage the aid delivery process to Gaza's inhabitants despite considerable challenges.

The spokesperson noted that the meeting reflected a consensus on the situation's gravity and the need to prevent factors contributing to the conflict's escalation. Both leaders firmly rejected any displacement of Palestinians from their lands and warned against any military operations in Palestinian Rafah, given its potentially catastrophic consequences for the already dire situation.

President El-Sisi and Secretary-General Guterres emphasized the necessity of a two-state solution as the sole path to achieving justice, security, and stability in the region, urging the creation of conducive conditions to activate it.

Keywords: Egypt, UN, Gaza, ceasefire, prisoner exchange, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Antonio Guterres, humanitarian aid, international law, UNRWA, Security Council, two-state solution.