Egypt, Russia agree on two-state solution for Palestine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry shake hands after their joint news conference following their talks in Moscow, Russia, Monday, June 24, 2019. (AP)
Updated 24 June 2019

Egypt, Russia agree on two-state solution for Palestine

  • Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has moved to increase military cooperation with Russia
  • The two nations foreign and defense ministers have held regular meetings

CAIRO: Egypt and Russia said on Monday that they agree on a two-state solution and the need to reach a comprehensive deal to the Palestinian issue.

Speaking during a joint press conference, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Moscow and Cairo have a common vision on a large number of regional issues.

He added that counter-terrorism must be treated with a comprehensive strategy.

His Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, said Moscow supports dialogue between the Arabs and Iran and wants to build confidence to establish security in the Arabian Gulf.

On Syria, Lavrov said: “We are concerned about trying to turn Syrian territory into a zone of conflict between Iran and Israel.”

He said that Russia stresses the need for dialogue and reject attempts to secede in Syria.

Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said Egypt was successfully fighting terrorism — an important step for the whole region — during talks with his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Ahmed Zaki in Moscow on Monday.

“We are certain that neutralizing the extremist and terrorist groups operating in your country corresponds to the interests of the whole region,” Shoigu said. According to him, Egypt was “an example of stability in these tumultuous times for the whole Arab world.”

“Largely, this is a personal achievement of President (Abdel Fattah) El-Sisi and the Egyptian Armed Forces. We support the effort of the Egyptian leadership to combat terrorism and normalize the situation on the Sinai Peninsula,” the Defense Minister added.

Shoigu also pointed out “Egypt’s key role in resolving political and economic issues in North Africa and the Middle East.”

Talking about the regular meetings of the two countries' defense and foreign ministers an important part of bilateral cooperation. “The diplomats and the military of our countries have a great opportunity to discuss the burning issues of the current agenda,” the Russian Minister said.


Massive explosions in Beirut kill and wound many, cause extensive damage

Updated 4 min 26 sec ago

Massive explosions in Beirut kill and wound many, cause extensive damage

  • Hundreds of casualties with many trapped in their homes
  • Cause of blasts, which was felt in Cyprus, unknown

BEIRUT: Two massive explosions in Beirut killed at least 10 people, wounded hundreds and caused extensive damage across the Lebanese capital.

The blasts took place at the city’s port area and were so large the explosions were felt in Cyprus 200 kilometers away. 

Even in a city with a history of conflict, the scale of the explosions was unprecedented.

Videos showed an initial blast and fire, followed by a massive explosion and shockwave spreading through the city’s buildings.

People could be heard screaming and running for cover in restaurants and from balconies. 

Buildings across the city were damaged, with windows blown out and ceilings collapsed.

Lebanon’s health minister Hamad Hasan said the explosion caused a “very high number of injuries.”

Lebanese Red Cross official Georges Kettaneh said there had been hundreds of casualties, including dead, wounded. He said many people remained trapped in their homes.

The cause of the blast remains unknown. An Israeli official told Reuters that the country had nothing to do with the blasts.

Lebanon's internal security chief Abbas Ibrahim said the explosions took place in a section of the port housing highly-explosive materials.

He declined to speculate about the cause of the explosion in Lebanon's capital, saying “we cannot preempt investigations.”

Prime Minister Hassan Diab declared a day of mourning for Wednesday.

*With agencies