Israel has the right to defend itself: British Foreign Minister
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi (R) during his meeting with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (L) - Presidential office

CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi welcomed the British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond Thursday noon in Ithadeya Palace in the presence of Minister of Foreign affairs SamehShoukry, Youm7 reported.

Presidency spokesperson EhabBadawy said in press statements that Hammond began the meeting by offering his heartfelt condolences toSisi for the victims of el-Wadiel-Gedid attack.

Hammond expressed his country’s keenness on achieving security and stability in the region. He clarified that by saying that his country trains Libyan security forces, commenting on which he expressed his hope in achieving security in Libya, noting that it would reflect positively on Egypt’s western borders.

Hammond welcomed the Egyptian efforts for achieving ceasefire in Gaza. He expressed Britain’s hope for them to become effective as soon as possible. He emphasized the importance of handling Gaza’s problems, especially those related to daily and humanitarian needs for Gaza citizens.

Hammond emphasized his country’s support to Egypt in the frame of friendly bilateral relations and Egypt being one of the important touristic destinations for British citizens.

President Sisi referred to the importance of Britain’s comprehensive view of the situation in Egypt so that developments are put in the context of major security and economic challenges that Egypt is facing.

Sisi said that more importance should be given to the flagrant violations terrorist groups commit. He mentioned the killing of thousands in Iraq in a few weeks and the Christians’ expulsion in Mosul.

When asked by the British Secretary, Sisi said Egypt has an ambitious economic plan, is working on reducing the budget deficit and reforming”distortions” caused by the subsidy system.

Hammond said in a press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Thursday that Israel has the right to defend itself against Hamas’s missiles that attack Israeli cities,Shorouq reported.

“Israel should realize that the western public opinion became against it because of its use of excessive force against Palestinians in Gaza,” Hammond added.

Hammond demanded that Hamas accepts the Egyptian ceasefire initiative without prior conditions.

The Israeli army has been waging an expanded military operation on Gaza since July 8, which increased the death toll to 600, in addition to thousands of injured victims.

Additional reporting by Mohamed al-Galy.

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