Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and visiting French Minister of Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna discussed here on Monday the current situation of the Israel-Hamas conflict and its threat to the region’s security and stability.
According to a statement from the Egyptian presidency, Sisi highlighted the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip and the need to provide urgent humanitarian and relief aid to the Gazans.
He also stressed the need for de-escalation and expressed rejection of exposing civilians to collective punishment, such as siege, starvation, or displacement.
Exchanging views on the military escalations in the Gaza Strip, the French minister praised Egypt’s key role in dealing with this issue.
Following the meeting, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in a joint press conference with his French counterpart that “since the beginning of the conflict, Egypt attempted to keep the Rafah crossing bordering with Gaza open to deliver aid in coordination with the United Nations.”
Shoukry added that “the Israeli government has not taken any measure from the side of Gaza to allow access to aid.”
For her part, Colonna stressed that France backs the principles of international law in terms of protecting the civilians in the coastal enclave, describing the situation there as “threatening the whole region.”
She added France will allocate ten million Euros (about 10.5 million U.S. dollars) for humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip.
Egyptian Minister of Health and Population Khaled Abdel Ghaffar inspected later on Monday the readiness of the hospital in Bir al-Abed of North Sinai, and the trucks loaded with aid near the Rafah crossing.
TV footage showed hundreds of foreigners and Palestinians stranded at the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing while aid trucks were staying on the Egyptian side waiting to pass.