Shoukry discusses Israeli-Palestinian conflict with Blair

Daily News Egypt
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Former British prime minister and Middle East Quartet Envoy Tony Blair (AFP Photo)
Former British prime minister and Middle East Quartet Envoy Tony Blair (AFP Photo)
Former British prime minister and Middle East Quartet Envoy Tony Blair
(AFP Photo)

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with Special Envoy for the Quartet on the Middle East Tony Blair Saturday to discuss the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, and possible ways to apply the objectives promised in the Gaza Reconstruction Conference.

The duo also discussed the efforts to continue the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, according to a statement from the foreign ministry.

Shoukry and the former British prime minister also discussed the importance of stopping the building of settlements, and recognising the Palestinian state.

Blair is the envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East, which includes the United Nations, United States, the European Union and Russia.

Previously, Egypt condemned Israel’s increasing settlement activity on the West Bank and East Jerusalem, stressing the illegality of Israeli settlements and their incompatibility with the resolutions of international legitimacy

Last October, Egypt and Norway co-hosted the conference in conjunction with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Tony Blair, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. During the conference, international community representatives in Cairo called for a lasting solution to the Gaza conflict to avoid another turn in the cycle of destructive conflict.

Egypt played a role in brokering a ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel in August 2014 to end a 50-day-long conflict during the summer of 2014. The conflict left at least 2,000 Palestinians dead, 10,000 injured, and the infrastructure of the strip severely damaged. On the other hand, approximately 70 Israelis were killed.

In 2012, Egypt and the US were able to broker a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. More than two years on, the situation has changed, with the Palestinian movement out of favour with the new Egyptian administration due to its close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. While the Brotherhood is outlawed, Hamas had all its offices closed and its military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, designated as a terrorist group.

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