CAIRO: Egypt will lead an emergency meeting of the Arab League on Feb. 8 in a bid to strengthen Arab unity and protect Palestinian rights.
The urgent meeting of Arab foreign ministers follows talks this week between Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and visiting EU special representative Susanna Terstal on reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
After the meeting Shoukry expressed his confidence in continuing European support for the Palestinian cause “at all levels.”
The Arab League meeting will also discuss its relationship with the White House, with President Joe Biden expected to review US policies on Palestine.
During the previous administration, US-Palestinian relations were strained to breaking point after Washington gave Israel the green light to annex large areas of the West Bank.
International efforts are now underway to bring the Palestinians and Israelis back to the negotiation table.
The assistant secretary-general of the Arab League, Hossam Zaki, said that the emergency meeting is being held at Egypt and Jordan’s request.
The meeting aims to bolster Arab unity following recent developments in the region, he said, adding that the focus will be on Arab security and “fundamentals related to the Palestinian cause.”
An Arab League source said that the meeting will discuss the Middle East peace process as well as the positive results of the AlUla summit in Saudi Arabia and its implications for the Palestinian issue.
In his meeting with the EU representative, the Egyptian foreign minister said that Cairo is seeking to “create a favorable environment that pushes the Palestinian and Israeli sides to engage in a serious and constructive negotiation path, leading to a just and comprehensive settlement based on the two-state solution, in a manner that guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
According to Ahmed Hafez, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Shoukry outlined Egypt’s efforts to achieve Palestinian reconciliation.
Terstal briefed Shoukry on the results of her talks with various parties and presented the EU vision to revive negotiations between the two sides.
She praised Egypt’s support for the peace process in the Middle East, and expressed her hopes for continued consultation and cooperation in the future.