The Outer

Interview| The European Union Ambassador in Cairo: The Security Council’s decision to cease fire in Gaza is historic

By Manal Abdel Fattah

Ambassador Christian Berger, the European Union’s ambassador to Cairo, said that Security Council Resolution No. 2728, which called for a ceasefire in Gaza, is a historic decision, and that it represents a strong message from the international community.

For the first time, six months after the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, the UN Security Council called for an immediate ceasefire and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

While the United States abstained from voting, the other fourteen members voted in favor of the resolution, which was proposed by the ten membersThe elected.

This came in his response on the sidelines of a breakfast event organized by the European Union Ambassador to Egypt at his residence for Egyptian journalists and media professionals, and to the text of the dialogue..

Two days after the UN Security Council passed the first resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire, Israel is still bombing Gaza, and despite the European Union’s welcome and despite the United States not rejecting the resolution and not using its veto power as the first three times, it said that the resolution will not be binding. For Israel, what is the European Union’s position on that? How is the resolution binding on Israel to implement?
Security Council Resolution No. 2728, which called for a ceasefire in Gaza, is a historic decision, as it is the first time that the United Nations has called for a ceasefire.

However, although the resolution is not binding on Israel because it was not issued by Chapter Seven of the United Nations Charter, it is a strong message from the international community.

For the first time, the United Nations calls for a ceasefire, and for the first time the United States abstains from voting.

However, the European Council unanimously called a few days ago, at the conclusion of the European Union summit in Brussels a few days ago, for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

The American announcement of the establishment of a port on the Gaza coast linked to a waterway to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip raised fears of exploiting the tragedy experienced by the residents of the Gaza Strip to achieve a “displacement plan.” What is your comment on that?
When Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, a neutral military force was deployed across the corridors, and there was an idea to connect Cyprus and Gaza, but it did not happen and currently there are supplies from Cyprus to Gaza at the present time and there is no talk of displacing the Palestinians through a new Gaza port, and we will continue to support Palestine and have provided A lot of support for Palestine and Gaza, and this is an explanation of the response to the idea of European duplicity regarding Ukraine and Gaza.
No displacement of Palestinians to Egypt will be accepted, as President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said, and this is also our vision, with the belief that the two-state solution is the path to peace. We also agree with the Egyptian vision regarding the Sudanese crisis, which focuses on resolving the conflict as soon as possible.

Is the European Union putting pressure on Israel to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in Gaza?
The European Council called for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, and there are large queues of trucks carrying aid waiting to enter the Gaza Strip, and there are discussions with Israel currently taking place to discuss ways to bring this aid in.
The system of providing aid is delivered to the Egyptian authorities, who then deliver it to the Israeli side. During the past ten days, the European Union provided 50 million euros to support UNRWA after it returned – after a pause – to funding this important organization that works to help the Palestinians inside Gaza.
I would like to praise the importance of the pivotal role played by Egypt as a center and platform for providing humanitarian support to the Gaza Strip, the importance of which will increase in the coming weeks, as more planes carrying European aid will arrive in Gaza in the coming days, while about 60 aid planes from Europe are heading to the Strip in the coming days. the last period.

What is the European Union’s position on the military escalation by the occupying state?
The Union’s position on the military escalation in Gaza is similar to the Egyptian position, which calls for the necessity of a permanent ceasefire, enhanced access to humanitarian aid, and a two-state solution. The only solution to peace in Gaza is the two-state solution.

What is your position regarding Israel’s intentions to invade Palestinian Rafah, which has become home to the vast majority of the Palestinian people?
We warn against any military attempts intended by Tel Aviv in Rafah. Military operations in Rafah should never take place, and it is impossible for them to happen because they will lead to a humanitarian catastrophe and extremely serious suffering.
Although it is difficult to predict the invasion of Rafah, there is an Israeli delegation that will go to Washington to discuss ways to cease fire and prevent the invasion of Rafah.
Could we see a European decision to recognize Palestine as a state?
Regarding recognition of the Palestinian issue, one country, Sweden, has recognized it before, and there are European parliaments trying to pass the resolution recently, but currently there is no strict European decision on this matter.

How do you evaluate Egypt’s role during the current crisis in the Gaza Strip?
I would like to express the European Union’s gratitude to Egypt for being the main conduit for international humanitarian aid sent to Gaza. We depend on Egypt as a platform and center for providing humanitarian support to Gaza.
For us, Egypt is a very important platform and outlet used to deliver European aid to Gaza. We see that Egypt has a strong and distinguished partnership, and we saw all of this during the recently held Egyptian-European summit, during which we announced a long and extended strategic partnership with Egypt.
I can say that Egypt is one of the most stable countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and we always say that Egypt is the cornerstone of spreading peace in the region and has a very big role in bridging any crisis in the region. With regard to Gaza, there are about 60 aid planes that will come from Europe to Gaza soon via Egypt.

How is cooperation and coordination taking place between Egypt and the European Union within the framework of supporting stability in Sudan and Libya?
As Egypt, we are following the situation in Sudan and Libya, and we hope for stability in the region, and Libya and Sudan are an important part of it. We continue to provide support in order to reach an end to the tensions and instability in these two countries.

After the recent signing of the strategic partnership document between Egypt and the European Union, how will this document help improve relations and enhance cooperation between the two sides?
The close strategic partnership that was recently signed in Cairo was a very important step to raise relations and cooperation to the level of a strategic and comprehensive partnership between Egypt and the European Union.
In support of this partnership, the European Union provides a financial and investment support package to Egypt worth 7.4 billion euros for the period 2024-2027, which includes 600 million in the form of grants, including 200 million for the migration framework. And 1.8 billion in additional investments within the framework of the economic and investment plan for the Southern Dialogue, and 5 billion in soft loans.
The strategic partnership document clearly defines specific areas of cooperation, which are: political and strategic relations, cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, investment, energy and water, in addition to human capital development, as work is currently being done with the Egyptian government to implement the document.

Are there future steps within the framework of implementing the recently signed strategic partnership agreement?
A conference will be held at the end of next June between Egypt and the European Union to discuss several matters related to investors in Egypt, and a meeting to discuss the technical details of the new loans provided by the European Union to Egypt, as Egypt is a very important country for the European Union.

The European Union is the largest partner and investor in Egypt, and the recently signed strategic partnership agreement confirms this. The European Union provided Egypt with 7.4 billion euros in the form of grants and loans, and we chose 6 areas of cooperation, which are economy, trade, energy, water, human development, vocational and technical education, and improving citizens’ skills. Adding, we are working with the Egyptian government to implement these steps.

The European Union supports the International Investment Conference in Egypt. Which contributes to enhancing trade exchange between Egypt and the Union, enhancing the business environment in a comprehensive manner, and supporting public and private investments.

Through the strategic partnership, how will economic cooperation between the two sides be enhanced?
The European Union is a major investor with Egypt and will support economic cooperation through loans and investments, including combating illegal immigration. Relations focus on the political aspect of cooperation between the two parties, the economy, investment, education, and the exchange of student scholarships.
Investment opportunities include the presence of European companies to invest in energy and education, and negotiations are currently underway with various Egyptian ministries. We are working to reach an agreement with Egypt about pumping investments into the country in the coming period.
Regarding cooperation recently, we will work to continue bringing humanitarian aid into Gaza through Al-Arish Airport, and we are discussing with the Israeli side to bring aid in, and we have provided 50 million euros.

Related Articles

Back to top button