Egypt pledges to uphold Palestinian cause as UNSC president
search

Egypt pledges to uphold Palestinian cause as UNSC president

Cairo holds Security Council presidency in May; vow comes amid French calls for renewed peace negotiations, stagnant since 2014

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, left, meets Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. Abbas on Sunday promised a transparent and responsible use of funds pledged at a donor's conference to help Gaza rebuild after this summer's devastating war between Israel and Hamas. (photo credit: AP Photo/Ahmed Foad, MENA)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, left, meets Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. Abbas on Sunday promised a transparent and responsible use of funds pledged at a donor's conference to help Gaza rebuild after this summer's devastating war between Israel and Hamas. (photo credit: AP Photo/Ahmed Foad, MENA)

Egypt will use its influence as chair of the UN Security Council in May to defend the interests of the Palestinian people, the presidency said on Monday.

The pledge, made during talks between President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, comes after France called for an international conference later this month to relaunch peace talks.

Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations have been frozen since a US-brokered initiative collapsed in April 2014.

Last month, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said France will host a meeting of ministers from 20 countries on May 30 to try to relaunch the peace process.

Abbas and Sissi discussed “ways of coordinating Arab efforts and the steps that need to be taken within the UN Security Council” as Egypt holds the rotating presidency of the council for the month of May, a statement said.

The two leaders said efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict should be bolstered in light of regional and international initiatives, including France’s decision to host a conference.

The Palestinian leadership has welcomed the French initiative but Israel opposes it, insisting that direct and unconditional negotiations with the Palestinians are the only way forward.

Ayrault has said that the aim of hosting a ministerial conference in May is to prepare for an international summit later this year that would include the Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

Paris’s initiative comes amid tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, following a spate of terror attacks that have included stabbings, car-rammings, shootings and a suicide bombing over the past seven months. The violence has claimed the lives of 29 Israelis and four foreign nationals. According to an AFP count, 204 Palestinians have also been killed for the same period, the majority of then while carrying out attacks against Israeli civilians or soldiers, and the rest during clashes with troops.

read more:
comments