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Palestine is top priority for Egypt, says foreign minister

February 13, 2014 at 12:07 am

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy told a press conference yesterday that support for the Palestinian cause remains a priority for his country. He condemned the latest killing of Palestinians by Israel soldiers.

Sitting next to his Ramallah-based Palestinian counterpart Riyad Al-Malki after a meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas, Fahmi said that the latest killings in Qalandiya, as well as ongoing settlement expansion, will reduce the chances of success for peace negotiations. “Moreover, it is essential that a Palestinian state is established alongside the state of Israel,” he stressed. “The Palestinians must live safely and freely with East Jerusalem as their capital.”

Fahmy said that he handed Abbas a message from interim President Adly Mansour, thanking him for the Palestinian Authority’s position on recent events in Egypt. When asked about relations with Hamas, the minister said that his government is seeking an agreement on security along the border with the Gaza Strip. He pointed out that tension anywhere along the border will have a negative impact on the Rafah border crossing. Nevertheless, he insisted that Egypt will not ignore the “humanitarian” situation of the Palestinians in Gaza, adding that his country has not severed contacts with the Hamas-led government there.