Al-Sisi, Erdogan agree to work together to deliver aid to Gaza, hold elections in Libya

Sami Hegazi
8 Min Read

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasized on Wednesday the importance of coordination between the two countries on the situation in Gaza, calling for urgent and rapid delivery of humanitarian aid to the Strip, and the need for cooperation on the Libyan issue to ensure the holding of presidential and legislative elections, and the unification of the military institution.In a joint press conference with Erdogan, Al-Sisi said relations between the two countries during the years of estrangement were continuously linked at the grassroots level, and trade and investment relations grew during that period.He pointed out that Egypt is Türkiye’s first trading partner in Africa, and it is “one of the most important destinations for Egyptian commercial exports.”President Al-Sisi confirmed that he and Turkish President Erdogan agreed on the need for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the rapid access of as much humanitarian aid as possible to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.Al-Sisi noted that the Israeli occupation authorities are restricting the entry of such aid, which causes aid trucks to enter at a slow pace that does not meet the needs of the residents of the Gaza Strip.“I agreed with President Erdogan on the need for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the achievement of calm in the West Bank so that the peace process can resume at the earliest opportunity, leading to the declaration of a sovereign Palestinian state on the borders of 4 June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital in accordance with the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy,” Al-Sisi said.He welcomed his Turkish counterpart on his first visit to Egypt in more than 10 years, pointing out that this visit opened a new page between the two countries, expressing Egypt’s pride in historical relations with Türkiye and the growth of trade relations over the past period.Al-Sisi noted that it was agreed to raise the level of trade exchange between the two countries to $15bn over the next few years, strengthen joint investments, and open new areas of cooperation.He stressed the interest of the two countries in strengthening joint coordination and taking advantage of the position of the two countries as centers of gravity in the region in a way that contributes to achieving peace, and stability and providing a favorable environment for prosperity and well-being.Egypt and Türkiye face many common challenges, such as the threat of terrorism and the economic and social challenges imposed by the turbulent reality in the region, he added.Concerning the Libyan issue, Al-Sisi said: “We stressed the need to strengthen consultation between the two countries on the Libyan issue to help hold presidential and legislative elections and unify the military institution in the country, and we appreciate that our success in achieving security and political stability in Libya will be a model to follow, as the countries of the region are the best able to understand their complexities and ways to resolve existing differences.”Al-Sisi welcomed the current calm in the Eastern Mediterranean region. He expressed his hope to build on it to resolve the existing differences between the riparian countries in the region so that everyone can cooperate to make the most of the available natural resources. He said: “During the talks, we confirmed our common interest in cooperation in Africa and work to support our efforts for development, stability and prosperity.”President Al-Sisi expressed his desire to accept President Erdogan’s invitation to visit Türkiye next April to continue working on upgrading the relations of the two countries in various fields in line with their history and common cultural heritage.For his part, the Turkish president said that Türkiye shares with Egypt “a common history that stretches for more than a thousand years,” noting his country’s desire to put “the level of our relations on a decent track. The same desire exists on the Egyptian side,” he said.He pointed out that Türkiye and Egypt have elevated their cooperation to the High-level Strategic Cooperation Council, adding that he is waiting for the Egyptian President on his visit to Ankara to hold the first meeting of the council.Erdogan noted that the two countries have set a common goal to reach $15bn in trade exchange. “We are determined to increase the volume of Turkish investments in Egypt, which is currently in the range of $3bn, and take additional measures to increase trade and economic cooperation,” he said.He said that what is happening in Gaza was part of his talks with President Sisi, pointing out that the Israeli attacks led to the death of more than 28,000 Palestinians, injuring almost 70,000, and targeting churches, mosques, schools, hospitals, and UN buildings.He continued: “The administration of (Israeli Prime Minister) Netanyahu continues the policy of murder and massacres despite international warnings,” and stressed that the delivery of aid to Gaza is one of the priorities of the two countries.He expressed his appreciation for the support of the Egyptian authorities, the Egyptian Red Crescent, the Egyptian Ministry of Health, and all Egyptian authorities in this matter.He said that the initiatives to displace the population of Gaza are unacceptable for them, and they cannot accept the total cleansing of Gaza from the population.He expressed his country’s appreciation for the Egyptian position in this matter and said that the Netanyahu administration “continues its massacres, and wants to transfer those massacres to Rafah as well.He said that the international community “must not allow this crazy behaviour.”He added: “To stop the bloodshed, we will continue to cooperate with Egypt as well, and in the medium term, the reconstruction of Gaza and the healing of wounds require us to work together and we are ready to work with Egypt in this regard as well.”He concluded: “We are determined to continue to coordinate and cooperate with Egypt in addressing and discussing all these issues and global issues as well.”

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