Egypt’s foreign minister begins tour that includes Spain, US in push

CAIRO: The eighth Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean takes place in the Spanish city of Barcelona on Monday.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry was setting off on Sunday to join the talks which will this year focus on the developments in Gaza.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said that the Arab-Islamic Ministerial Committee would meet in Barcelona for dialogue with the Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares.

The ministers were expected to explore the outcomes and decisions at the recent Arab-Islamic summit in Riyadh.

They were also joining a ministerial roundtable discussion organized by the Union for the Mediterranean and called “Developments in Israel and Palestine — Gaza and the Region.”

Shoukry is set to travel to New York on Tuesday to join other committee members in a briefing session held by the UN Security Council on the situation in the Middle East.

This will review the Arab and Islamic positions in calling for an end to the war, and in urging the Security Council to assume its responsibility to promote a comprehensive ceasefire and end Israeli violations of international law.

The committee is expected to make clear the crucial Palestinian issues during its meetings in New York.

The Chinese presidency of the Security Council has decided to hold the ministerial-level session to address developments in the Gaza Strip.

The ministerial committee will highlight the need to immediately revive the peace process on a serious basis, without procrastination, and in a way that guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, within a specific period, and in a way that ensures the realization of the vision of the two-state solution and the establishment of permanent peace.

Slovenian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Tanja Fajon has praised Egypt’s efforts to obtain a humanitarian truce and its part in trying to facilitate the release of Palestinian hostages and prisoners from Israeli prisons.

She was speaking after her meetings on Sunday with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and Shoukry.

The minister said she had held in-depth discussions about the Gaza crisis and exchanged views on how to deal with the conflict.

She added: “We agreed on the need to urgently reach a permanent ceasefire and provide protection for civilians, as well as concrete steps towards a two-state solution.”

Fajon affirmed her rejection of the forced displacement of Palestinians, saying that they must maintain their rights, and parties must ensure that favorable conditions were created for them to live in dignity.

She added: “We discussed within the European Union the plan for development aid and financial support provided to the Palestinians.”

She said that Slovenia was currently studying the possibilities of providing psychological support to Palestinian children, and rehabilitation when conditions improved.



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