FM receives EU, South Africa delegations on Gaza
Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry - YOUM7/Hassan Muhammed

CAIRO: Foreign Ministry officials received Saturday a European Commission delegation that arrived in Cairo as part of a tour to include also Ramallah and Tel Aviv, according to the Foreign Ministry’s official Facebook account.

The delegation head Christian Berger expressed EU support for the Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza and Cairo’s efforts to end bloodshed in Gaza.

Solving Gaza’s problems “should not be isolated from working seriously to resolve the whole Palestinian issue to guarantee a stable and secure Palestinian state with Eastern al-Quds as its capital,” said the ministry, adding that “this is the only guarantee for the sustainability of security and stability in the region.”

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry also received Saturday a high-level delegation from South Africa, including two envoys to Palestinian territories and Israel, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Badr Abdel Atty said on the ministry’s official Facebook account.

Atty emphasized on the bilateral relations between Egypt and South Africa in different fields, demanding from the delegation to convey the greetings and appreciation of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to President Jacob Zuma.

Shoukry and the South African officials discussed the current situation in Gaza, and he “praised the South Africa’s supportive stance on the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”

The two sides agreed to further intensify contacts and talks on regional and African issues of mutual concerns, especially the Palestinian issue in light of the importance of two countries for the African continent and also on the international level, said Atty.

President Sisi received Saturday Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the presidential palace in Heliopolis to discuss regional issues including Gaza and Libya and held a joint press conference.

Sisi said during the conference 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.”

Egypt called on the Palestinian authority and the Israeli government earlier to send their delegations to Cairo to negotiate issues of common interest within the Egyptian ceasefire proposal, an anonymous diplomatic source told Youm7 Friday.

Negotiations were expected to be held in Egypt for Gaza talks Friday, but were 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 blamed each other for breaching it.

1,712 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of Israeli operations the Gaza Strip in July, including 398 children, 207 women and 74 elderly, according to the latest estimates 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.

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