Egypt FM discusses resuming peace talks with Israel, Palestine counterparts

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The Egyptian foreign minister made calls to his Israeli and Palestinian Authority (PA) counterparts yesterday to discuss the upcoming quartet that aims to “advance peace in the region”, the ministry announced.

During the phone call with Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, Sameh Shoukry also spoke of efforts to work out “new ways to advance the peace process”.

Palestinian-Israeli talks stalled in 2014 after Israel refused to stop its illegal settlement expansion and release a batch of Palestinian prisoners as had been agreed as a goodwill gesture prior to the commencement of negotiations.

“Coordination is taking place at the level of the two foreign ministers as well as with the Palestinian side within the framework of the necessary preparation for the Quartet meeting,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in its statement yesterday.

The upcoming Quartet – a foursome of nations and international and supranational entities involved in mediating the Israeli-Palestinian peace process – is set to meet in coordination with the US.

The phone call between Shoukry and Ashkenazi comes a day after Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi discussed the Palestinian cause with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Al-Sisi affirmed, during the call, the importance of reaching a just and comprehensive solution that guarantees the rights of the Palestinian people and establishes their independent state in accordance with international laws.

Speaking to his Palestinian counterpart Riyad Al-Maliki, Shoukry discussed Egypt’s efforts in reaching a just and permanent solution to the Palestinian cause based on its long-established stance.

Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, territories the Palestinians seek for their future state, in the 1967 Middle East war.

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