On Monday, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received Tor Wennesland, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.
In a statement, the official spokesperson for Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, Ahmed Abu Zeid, stated that the meeting addressed recent updates pertaining to the status quo in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Shoukry expressed deep anxiety over the persistent escalation of violence, the increasing intensity of Israeli incursions into the West Bank, and the resultant casualties and injuries. These actions intensify the already charged atmosphere and tension between the two parties.
Shoukry outlined Egypt’s efforts in recent times to moderate the volatile ground situation, underlining the urgent necessity to put into action the agreements connected to the Aqaba/Sharm El-Sheikh framework as a means to alleviate the current tension.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister emphasized the need for a concerted regional and international effort, including United Nations interventions, to put an end to the persistent escalation in the occupied lands and to foster a conducive environment for the rejuvenation of the peace process.
On his part, Wennesland commended Egypt’s central role in the peace process, expressing his eagerness to continue the collaboration with Egypt.
The aim is to break through the present impasse in the peace process, curb the ongoing cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, and rekindle hope for a conclusive, comprehensive, and fair resolution to the Palestinian matter.
In a meeting on 26 February in the Jordanian city of Aqaba, the “political-security” talks attended by officials from the United States, Jordan, and Egypt agreed to de-escalate tensions following a heightened period of violence. Israel has also agreed to temporarily halt approvals of settlement building projects in the West Bank, as both sides said they would work closely to prevent “further violence.”
The violence, however, erupted shortly after the end of the talks, seemingly causing difficulty for the parties to convene again in a planned follow-up meeting.
The follow-up meeting is scheduled to take place in March — at an unspecified date — in Sharm El-Sheikh as part of the five-party talks that were held in Aqaba, according to a joint statement at the time.