Mohammed Abu Zaid
CAIRO: Egypt has stressed the urgent need to move toward breaking the deadlock in the peace process in order to re-launch peace negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian sides.
The call came as Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met his Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid, in Brussels.
During his visit to Brussels, Shoukry delivered a letter from President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to European Council President Charles Michel.
He also met with EU foreign ministers to discuss regional issues, especially the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
Shoukry’s meeting with Lapid in Brussels is the first since a new multiparty coalition took power in Israel last month.
Ahmed Hafez, official spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, said that Shoukry emphasized the importance of overcoming the stalemate between the Palestinian and Israeli sides with the aim of engaging in negotiations based on UN Security Council resolutions.
The negotiations should guarantee the establishment of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state, on the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, added Hafez.
This is one of the main ingredients for strengthening the pillars of security and stability in the region, said the spokesman.
According to Hafez, Shoukry stressed that Cairo would not hesitate to support all international efforts to achieve this goal.
Shoukry expressed his hope that the Israeli government would not take any measures that could increase the possibilities of an escalation in the conflict and thus undermine the chances of creating an appropriate climate for peace and stability.
He noted the actions of Egypt in the context of reconstruction and the provision of aid to all parts of the Palestinian territories in cooperation with the Palestinian National Authority.
On May 21, Israel and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, announced a ceasefire, ending a bloody escalation between the two sides that lasted for 11 days.
The clashes resulted in the deaths of 260 Palestinians, including 66 children, and 13 Israelis, including a child.