Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry received a phone call from the United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, on Tuesday to discuss the latest updates regarding the situation in Syria.
De Mistura informed Shoukry about the results and details of the ceasefire and truce talks in Syria, which are taking place in Geneva. A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlighted the importance of Egypt’s role in supporting the agreement by urging different Syrian parties to implement the ceasefire agreement.
The statement also cited De Mistura who asserted Egypt’s leading role in the Arab world, especially after its membership in the UN Security Council.
As the ceasefire is being implemented, the Syrian regime continues to deny committing any violations of human rights, such as executing prisoners in detention centres or using chemical weapons.
Egypt has supported the political solution in Syria several times; however, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, in an interview with a Portuguese TV channel, said that Egypt is siding with the Syrian Arab army, which is affiliated with Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad.
However, Shoukry denied this statement several times last December, saying that Al-Sisi was not referring to the current Syrian government when he spoke of Egypt’s stance on Syria. Shoukry argued that Al-Sisi had been saying that national armies would be better in taking responsibility for fighting terrorism in their countries instead of relying on foreign intervention.
On 8 October 2016, Egypt voted in favour of two different draft resolutions in the UN Security Council regarding a peace solution in Syria. The first was drafted by France and backed by the US, and the second was filed by Russia, which currently carries out numerous airstrikes in Syria and openly supports Al-Assad.
The political turmoil in Syria started five years ago; and the country has subsequently broken up into several political factions, with militants spreading across the country. Al-Assad’s regime, backed by Russia, has executed war crimes in the Syrian city of Aleppo and received international condemnations.