Egypt’s foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, will attend the international peace conference in Paris on Sunday, in which he will give a speech on the Israel-Palestinian Authority (PA) peace talks, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram reported Saturday.
Shoukry is set to chair the Egyptian delegation at the conference, said a statement by foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid.
In his speech, Shoukry is expected to “outline Egypt’s vision on reaching a just and comprehensive settlement for the Palestinian cause, which is considered the cornerstone of stability and peaceful coexistence in the region,” Abu Zeid added.
He further said that Shoukry will stress the importance of ensuring that the Palestinian people receive their “legitimate rights”, primarily the establishment of an independent state along the pre-1967 borders with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.
He will also stress Egypt’s readiness to contribute to achieving this objective through encouraging both the Palestinian and Israeli sides to resume direct talks.
Sunday’s peace conference in Paris is part of France’s initiative to push Israel and the PA to resume stalled peace talks.
The conference will be attended by representatives from 72 countries, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Israel will not attend, as it opposes the French initiative, explaining that the only way to reach a peace agreement is through direct talks with the PA – which the PA refuses.
Egypt is one of two Arab countries, along with Jordan, to have signed a peace treaty with Israel.
Egypt has been at the forefront of attempts to renew peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi several months ago urged Israelis and Palestinian Arabs to seize what he said was a “real opportunity” for peace and hailed his own country’s peace deal with Israel.
Shoukry made a rare visit to Israel this past July, during which he met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and stressed that his country is committed “to supporting a just, comprehensive and sustainable resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict”.
Abu Zeid said in Saturday’s statement that all “sincere and serious initiatives can provide a real opportunity for the Palestinian and Israeli sides to affirm their political will and put in place the foundations for confidence-building measures.”
He stressed Egypt’s readiness to exert all the necessary efforts to ensure the success of every initiative that aims at reaching a lasting solution to the conflict.