In a press conference held on Wednesday at the New Administrative Capital with his Palestinian counterpart following their talks, Madbouly emphasized Egypt’s ongoing efforts to attain calm in the occupied Palestinian territories and revitalize the peace process.
Egypt wants to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people in establishing their independent state based on the borders of 4 June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, he added.
Madbouly said that during the talks with his Palestinian counterpart, the necessity of halting unilateral measures that escalate tensions among the Palestinian people was emphasized.
Bilateral relations were a significant focus of the extensive talks, encompassing various areas of cooperation outlined in agreements between the Palestinian and Egyptian delegations.
These include proposals to increase trade volume, facilitate the access of Egyptian goods and products to the Palestinian market, and strengthen collaboration in sectors such as health, agriculture, education, culture, and electricity linkage.
According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in 2022, Egypt’s exports to Palestine hiked by 72.6 percent in the past year, reaching $284.4 million, up from $164.8 million in 2020.
The discussions concluded with the signing of a Protocol of Political Consultations between the Egyptian and Palestinian foreign ministries. The two sides’ agriculture ministries also signed a protocol of cooperation in the agricultural field.
Shtayyeh and Kamel met on Tuesday to discuss the latest developments in Gaza and explore ways to alleviate the suffering of the people there.
Key topics included facilitating the movement of Gazan residents through border crossings, providing electricity from Egypt, and advancing Gaza’s reconstruction efforts, the Palestinian official news agency WAFA reported.
Shtayyeh also highlighted the importance of Egypt’s involvement in constructing donor-funded seawater desalination plants in Gaza and sought Egyptian support in activating Palestinian mobile phone networks within Egypt.
The Palestinian PM updated Egypt’s intelligence chief on recent developments in the Palestinian arena, particularly Israeli violations.
He urged the exertion of pressure on Israel to halt recurrent incursions into Palestinian areas, cease colonial settlement construction, end extrajudicial killings, and seize illegal deductions from Palestinian tax revenues.
Shtayyeh urged an international initiative to revive the peace process.
He expressed gratitude for Egypt’s support in backing the Palestinian cause and fostering intra-Palestinian reconciliation.
Meeting of Pope Tawadros II and Grand Imam of Al-Azhar
During his visit, Shtayyeh met separately with Pope Tawadros II, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, who emphasized the importance of the Palestinian cause for the Church and called for an end to double standards when addressing the rights and just cause of Palestinians.
Shtayyeh also met with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayyeb to discuss the latest developments in East Jerusalem, with discussions including plans to establish more Al-Azhar institutions in Palestine, including one in Jerusalem, to serve the Palestinian people.
Interview with Al-Qahera News
In an interview with Cairo-based Al-Qahera News, Shtayyeh stressed the critical nature of the current period in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He accused the current radical Israeli government and its predecessors of working to destroy the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state.
Shtayyeh highlighted the division and fragmentation of Palestinian territories and Israel’s exploitation of Palestinian resources for its own benefit.
The Israeli government aims to maintain the inter-palestinian division to push Gaza to be under Egypt’s control, completely removing it from the Palestinian geography, he added.
“Consultations are underway to launch the national dialogue called for by the Palestinian president, building on similar discussions held in the past among the general secretaries of Palestinian factions, which led to the path of elections. However, it was obstructed by the Israeli occupation who also prevented elections in occupied Jerusalem.”
He emphasized that the blockade on Jerusalem surpasses the height of the Berlin Wall, and the city of Hebron has been divided into two separate parts. Additionally, the remaining Palestinian territories are fragmented into designated “A, B, and C” areas, with Area “C” under Israeli control, comprising 62 percent of the total area of the West Bank.
Furthermore, he highlighted that Israel appropriates 600 million cubic metres of water from Palestine, of which one-third is allocated to Israeli households and sourced from Palestinian territories. Moreover, Israel utilizes Palestinian lands as its second most significant market, following the United States and Europe, making the occupation of Palestinian territories a lucrative enterprise.
Shtayyeh arrived in Cairo on Monday on a three-day visit, heading a high-level delegation of ministers and officials including the ministers of foreign affairs, interior, national economy, endowments and religious affairs, health, agriculture, public works, and housing.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohamed Shtayyeh arrived in Cairo on Monday in a three-day official visit on Monday heading a high-level delegation of ministers and officials including the Palestinian ministers of Foreign Affairs, Interior, National Economy, Endowments and Religious Affairs, Health, Agriculture, Public Works and Housing.