CAIRO: “The Egyptian cease-fire proposal is still on the table,” President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said Saturday in a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi aired on CBC TV channel addressing the Gaza situation. In addition, he added that Egypt and Italy agree that violence should be halted by fighting Libyan militias.
Sisi said that “the Egyptian ceasefire proposal will offer a real opportunity for calm and aid access to be followed by launching negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.”
He further stressed that “lost time will complicate the situation in Gaza more and more,” however, Renzi said Italy supports Egypt’s ceasefire initiative in Gaza, saying it is the only chance to end the crisis.
“Egypt and Italy are Libya’s neighbors,” Renzi said, adding that Italy is subjected to the same danger threatening stability in the region as Egypt is.
President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi received Renzi Saturday at the presidential palace in Heliopolis to discuss regional issues of mutual concerns, especially the situation in Gaza and in Libya, Youm7 reported.
“The European community has moral, humanitarian and security commitment toward Libya,” Sisi stressed.
As for terrorism, Renzi said that terrorism cannot be countered without Egypt. Meanwhile, Sisi stressed on the importance of creating an effective balance between human rights and security measures among the procedures taken to fight terrorism. A long-term strategy has to be adopted to combat terrorism, Sisi added.
Speaking at his first press conference since being appointed June 8, Sisi said that whoever tracks the situation in Libya, Syria and Iraq, will know that Egypt has been saved. He also called on the European community not to see Egypt only through European eyes but also through Egyptian eyes to be able to assess the situation properly.
Renzi said that the crisis of illegal immigration will not be countered without resolving the Libyan crisis, while Sisi stressed that poverty is the main reason behind the existence of terrorism and illegal immigration, adding that the European community should provide investments in the Middle East to help it eliminate such phenomenas.
“People take the decision to migrate illegally because they simply want to find work,” said Sisi.
Sisi emphasized that Egypt is closely following up on the rapid developments in Libya, adding that border security was beefed up to prevent smuggling from Libya to Egypt. “The Egyptian military is on high alert over the deteriorating situation in Libya,” Sisi stressed.
“We should take advandage of the ongoing negotiations and the Egyptian proposal to guarantee a stable and secure Palastinian state with Eastern al-Quds as its capital,” Sisi stressed.
Sisi ended the conference calling on all sides to ceasefire and give truce a real opportunity.
Renzi was expected to arrive in Egypt for Gaza talks on Friday but was delayed due to the breakdown of a 72-hour truce between Hamas and Israel. The truce was broken two hours after it started; both sides blaimed each other for breaching it.
A Palestinian delegation including 12 members who represent all Palestinian factions of Fatah and Hamas, will arrive in Cairo Saturday evening to discuss a ceasefire, delegation head Azam al-Ahmed, member of Fatah’s Central Committee, told The Cairo Post Saturday by phone from the West Bank.
1,600 Palestinians have been killed and 8,750 injured, according to the latest estimations issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Meanwhile, the Israeli Army’s spokesperson announced Friday that the death toll of Israeli soldiers reached 61 since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge.