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Egypt FM: No US pressure to accept Palestinian displacement in exchange for debt relief

November 17, 2023 at 3:34 pm

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry gives a speech in Cairo, Egypt on October 14, 2023. [Murat Gök – Anadolu Agency]

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri has categorically rejected reports claiming Israel and the United States are pressuring Egypt to accept the displacement of Palestinians in exchange for cancelling Cairo’s debts.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Shoukri said the Palestinians cannot be displaced outside their homeland because this would lead to liquidating the Palestinian cause, noting that Cairo is in constant contact with Hamas and other international parties, and is making every effort to release prisoners of war.

The diplomat reiterated his country’s emphasis and the international consensus on the necessity of achieving the two-state solution, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

“It is not appropriate to have any arrangements that reinforce the separation between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, as they both represent the occupied Palestinian territory,” he explained.

Shoukri also explained that Egypt will not hesitate to fulfil any humanitarian obligations towards the Palestinians, and to provide the available support with the availability of logistical arrangements.

“As for southern Gaza, we are working to stop the conflict and provide humanitarian and medical needs,” he added.

The minister said the Rafah crossing has been open since the beginning of the crisis, and the process of entering aid is carried out in coordination with humanitarian organisations and Israel, as the “occupying state”, adding: “We were not able to get more than 1,136 trucks in, most of which are provided by Egypt and civil society organisations” although the needs are much greater. “We are seeking to increase aid,” he continued.

The Israeli army has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since 7 October, killing at least 12,000 people, the vast majority children.

READ: Egypt: Rafah crossing is open and pressure must be put on Israel, says foreign minister