Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met with French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné on Sunday to discuss the developments in the Gaza Strip and the bilateral relations.
The spokesperson of the presidency, Ahmed Fahmy, said that the two sides emphasized the importance of continuing coordination and cooperation between the two countries, reflecting the convergence of visions and interests and enhancing the strategic relations between Egypt and France.
He said that this was especially in light of the various areas of economic cooperation in the transport, manufacturing, trade, and other sectors, as well as the historical-cultural relations between the two friendly peoples.
The meeting also addressed the situation in the Gaza Strip, where they reviewed the intensive Egyptian efforts with various partners to achieve a ceasefire in the Strip and to provide humanitarian assistance to end the humanitarian crisis faced by the people of Gaza.
The two sides stressed the need for the international community to fulfill its responsibilities toward the implementation of the relevant international resolutions.
The French minister expressed his country’s keenness to coordinate visions and efforts with Egypt to reach a sustainable ceasefire and an exchange of detainees, in light of the agreement of the two states on the need to prevent the escalation of the conflict.
He said that France calls for activating the two-state solution as a basis for a comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian issue and the restoration of security and stability in the Middle East. He said that in this regard, the two countries reject any measures or policies aimed at displacing Palestinians from their lands.
They also highlighted the central and irreplaceable role of the UNRWA in providing support to the people of the Gaza Strip, especially in light of the catastrophic humanitarian conditions that they suffer from, which requires the support of all the international mechanisms working in the field of relief.
The meeting also touched upon several priority political issues, mainly the situations in Sudan, Libya, and the Red Sea, where the two sides expressed their keenness to continue consultation and exchange visions to contribute to strengthening security and peace at the regional and international levels.
In a similar context, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry affirmed the solid strategy of relations between Egypt and France and expressed Egypt’s aspiration to develop the relationship in light of a common vision between the two countries on various issues.
In a joint press conference with French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné, Minister Shoukry said that there was a keenness to strengthen cooperation in cultural relations, and stressed Egypt’s desire to benefit from the French educational systems.
The foreign minister said that Egypt and France are united by their commitment to the UN Charter, the sovereignty of states, and common interests, and that they work positively to establish security and stability in the region, as well as to support the establishment of a Palestinian state and the end of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the region.
He pointed out the importance of French support for Egypt within the European Union (EU).
Minister Shoukry explained that the talks touched upon the war in Gaza and the importance of reaching a ceasefire agreement, the entry of aid to meet the needs of the Palestinian people, the complete rejection of the displacement of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza, and the rejection of Israeli practices against the Palestinian people.
“We have a common vision with France on international issues, as Egyptian policy is always formulated on the basis and principles of mutual respect, the privacy of each country and respect for its sovereignty, as well as common interests and working positively to achieve stability,” Shoukry added.
He also pointed out that France is committed to these principles under the UN Charter and the principles of international law.
For his part, French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné stressed that France is a strategic partner of Egypt, adding that Egypt is a key party to finding a solution to the conflict in the Middle East. He said that Egypt could fully rely on France for its stability and security.
Séjourné pointed to his country’s rejection of any action aimed at displacing Palestinians, explaining that his country is aware of the tension in the Red Sea and the tension in Gaza, Libya, and Sudan.
He stressed that his country supports Egypt’s economic stability, both individually and within the institutions of the EU.
The French minister highlighted Egypt’s outstanding efforts to bring humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, pointing to Egypt’s commitment to facilitate the delivery of French aid by sea and air.
France has sent two thousand tons of aid to the Palestinians and received the wounded in the field hospital.” he added. He stressed the importance of a ceasefire and dealing with the Palestinian issue within a political framework, as it is the only solution to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Minster Séjourné pointed to the need to set a time frame for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, in addition to the need to resolve several issues, including the hostages and the importance of establishing a Palestinian state.