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Egypt's Sisi meets Blinken, calls for immediate cease-fire in Gaza

Blinken visits Egypt as part of regional tour for talks on Gaza cease-fire

14:34 - 21/03/2024 Perşembe
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File photo
File photo

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi called Thursday for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Blinken arrived in Cairo early Thursday for talks with Egyptian officials on efforts to reach a Gaza cease-fire deal between Hamas and Israel.

Talks between Sisi and Blinken dwelt on the situation in the Gaza Strip and mediation efforts to reach a cease-fire deal and hostage swap between Israel and Hamas, the Egyptian presidency said in a statement.

The Egyptian leader warned of grave consequences from any Israeli ground attack on Rafah city, where more than 1.4 million people have taken refuge from Israel's ongoing war on the Gaza Strip.

He also called for the entry of sufficient aid to Gaza and opening a political horizon to establish an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Blinken, for his part, hailed Egyptian efforts to establish calm in the region, the statement said.

According to the statement, the two sides agreed on the importance of taking all necessary measures to ensure access to humanitarian aid for Gaza's population and reject any form of displacing the Palestinians from their land.

Blinken kicked off his latest regional tour on Wednesday by holding talks with officials in Saudi Arabia to discuss a cease-fire deal in Gaza. He is scheduled to visit Israel on Friday.

The top diplomat said Wednesday that the US has submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council that calls "for an immediate cease-fire" in Gaza that's "tied to the release" of hostages held by Hamas.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack led by Hamas in which some 1,200 Israelis were killed.

Nearly 32,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have since been killed in Gaza, and nearly 74,200 injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war, now in its 167th day, has pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of most food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which in January issued an interim ruling ordering Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

#Antony Blinken
#cease-fire
#Egypt
#Gaza
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