Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has reiterated the necessity of resuming the Palestinian and Israeli negotiating track soon to reach a just and comprehensive settlement for the Palestinian issue based on the two-state solution.
Shoukry said in a meeting with Israeli Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in Cairo on Thursday that Egypt is unwavering in its efforts to bring peace and stability to the Middle East.
Egypt has repeatedly called for the two-state solution that involves the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital as per relevant international resolutions.
Egypt has been in talks with several regional and international players to revive the long-frozen Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.
Shoukry said Cairo will continue contacting all parties to reach an atmosphere conducive to resuscitating the desired political track, a statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry said.
Shoukry also called for refraining from unilateral measures including the those related to the settlement activities in the Palestinian territories, noting that such measures hinder chances at peace and the two-state solution, a statement released following the meeting said.
Egypt’s top diplomat reviewed Egyptian efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip and support the development demands of the Palestinians in coordination with the Palestinian Authority.
He emphasised the importance of the international community’s support to Egypt in this regard, which helps secure peace and stability in the region.
After mediating a ceasefire between the Israeli and Palestinian sides that ended the hostilities in May, Egypt allocated $500 million to reconstruct the strip.
In recent months, Israel has stiffened restrictions on the enclave, barring the entry of construction materials and fuel. According to media reports, several challenges now face Gaza’s reconstruction given the complicated political conditions.
Egypt and Qatar have signed agreements to supply fuel and basic construction materials to the Gaza Strip.
The agreement, announced by the Qatari foreign ministry in November, aims to alleviate the economic crises in the Palestinian territories on the heels of the Israeli war on Gaza in May, the pandemic, and delays in the salary payments by the Palestinian Authority.
Egyptian smuggled antiquities
During his meeting with Shoukry, Lapid handed back 95 smuggled antiques from Egypt that were seized by Israeli authorities.
The antiques were returned in the presence of officials from the Egyptian and Israeli antiquities ministries.
Lapid, who landed in Cairo earlier today, met with Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ahead of Shoukry’s talks.