Russian news agency Sputnik held an interview with spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Abou Zaid, in which Egypt’s stance on various matters of national and international importance were discussed, as well as diplomatic efforts to reach solutions for the ongoing political turmoil in the region.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has begun talks and visits to Ramallah and Tel Aviv after President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi revealed his vision for a permanent and fair solution to the Palestinian case. Abou Zaid said that Al-Sisi’s vision depends on the Egyptian situation with Israel and how permanent peace can be achieved.
Abou Zaid continued that Al-Sisi is ready to deeply invest in diplomatic efforts to motivate the two parties in dispute to resume talks and negotiations to reach a final solution to the conflict. He stressed that the purpose of Shoukry’s visits is to understand the demands of both parties and the conditions needed to resume negotiations.
He added that the stances of both Palestine and Israel are obvious and announced: Palestine wants Israel to stop expanding its settlements, and Israel wants mutual trust so they can resume negotiations.
Regional and international efforts have being exerted for both parties to find a common ground, and Egypt’s stance is indisputable as well—it wants Israel to stop its economic and humanitarian siege on Palestine and to stop expanding its settlements. However, if a solution is to be reached, it is important to not announce any stances.
Abou Zaid said that Turkey is interested in improving its foreign relations, especially with countries with whom tensions were fraught, like Russia.
However, Egypt has its terms in order if relations with Turkey are ever to bounce back. Primarily, Turkey must respect the will of the Egyptian people expressed at the 30 June Uprising that led to the ouster of then president Mohamed Morsi and his government. Another condition is that Turkey should refrain from intervening in Egypt’s internal affairs.
He further continued that the bilateral relations between countries are comprehensive, so the Turkish initiative to improve the relations in terms of economy is not straightforward, as the improvements should happen on all levels.
Egypt has revealed its stance regarding the military intervention in Libya, stressing several times that Libya’s sovereignty should be respected. However, the presidential council of Libya may have particular demands from some countries in order to be able to combat terrorism, Abou Zaid said.
He added that Libya must implement the Libyan Political Agreement that was signed in December 2015, in order for the Government of National Accord (GNA) to be able to combat terrorism and carry out its developmental role.