Egypt has asked the UN to provide specific guidance from the international community in order “to curb Israel’s policies and practices”. Without such guidance making clear the position of preference of countries around the world, Israel is basically free to do as it pleases. This will, claims Egypt, “undermine any chances of resuming negotiations, especially Israel’s settlement policy and deliberate human rights abuses and killings”.
The Egyptian call came during a meeting between Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit and UN Peace Envoy Robert Serry in which the latest developments in the efforts to get the peace process restarted were discussed. There has been a flurry of diplomatic activity recently, including a high-level delegation from Egypt visiting Washington and a number of visits in Europe and the Middle East by the US envoy to the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP), ex-Senator George Mitchell.
Aboul Gheit stressed the importance of further peace efforts in order to regain the momentum. “The current state of paralysis is affecting the stability and future of the Palestinian case,” he said.
A statement issued by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said, “A consensus was reached on the vision needed to make sure that no pressure is put on the Palestinians to resume negotiations without first seeing some concrete steps by Israel demonstrating its goodwill”. The humanitarian situation in Gaza was also addressed in the statement, with Egypt and the UN agreeing that construction materials have to be allowed into the territory. According to the UN envoy, progress has been made with the Israelis which he hopes will lead to some materials being allowed in to Gaza.