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CAIRO, July 12, 2018 (MENA) - Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri attended a meeting of the mini-international group on Syria that took place in Belgium early Thursday.

The top diplomats of Britain, the US, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Jordan attended the meeting, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said.

Egypt was invited for the first time to the group's meeting in appreciation of the efforts it is exerting to support the political settlement in Syria, Abu Zeid said.

Egypt also has opened communication channels with all Syrian parties involved in the stalemate, he said, citing Egypt's role in unifying the Syrian opposition factions and resuming political negotiations.

The talks tackled means of pushing forward the political settlement and the importance of releasing a call by United Nations envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura to hold the first meeting of the constitution-wording committee as a first step for resuming talks, which were suspended six months ago.

During the meeting, Shoukri reviewed Egypt's efforts to push forward a settlement of the Syrian crisis.

He underlined the importance of a swift political solution to the crisis, expounding that this solution should maintain the unity of the Syrian lands and prevent foreign interference. 

Shoukri highlighted the importance of maintaining the fight against Daesh to deprive the group of the chance to find safe havens in the region, especially in North Africa or the Sahel and Sahara.

By: Gazette staff


JUBA, May 3, 2018 - Egypt pledges to continue its efforts in support of establishing peace in South Sudan, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri said in Juba yesterday.

The Cairo government also calls for resolving the South Sudanese dispute through negotiation, which should aim at preserving the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of South Sudan, Minister Shoukri said in a speech.

Addressing the opening session of the annual conference of the South Sudanese National Liberation Council (NLC), the country's ruling party, Minister Shoukri said that Egypt believed that a just and comprehensive peace should prevail in South Sudan.

Such hoped-for peace could only be reached through negotiation, applying the principle of the rule of law, and bringing about development and prosperity in all the regions of South Sudan, said the top Egyptian diplomat.

He said that he was happy to be present at the key NLC meeting, which indicated that all the signatories of the Arusha Agreement were committed to bringing peace, stability, and prosperity to the South Sudanese people. In the Arusha deal, which was signed in Tanzania, the parties concerned vowed to comply with the provisions of a cessation of hostilities agreement, combat the culture of tribalism, militarism and sectarianism in politics, and work towards building a South Sudan in which political efforts were focused on democracy and development.

"This important meeting reflects the commitment of the South Sudanese government to supporting the political and economic stability of the country. We all hope to fulfill the aspirations of the founders of this country, who wanted to build a stable and advanced state," Minister Shoukri said.

He said that he hoped that the NLC meeting would be a good opportunity for the participants to exchange views on the country's problems and find solutions for them.

Minister Shoukri said that those taking part in the meeting should find a solution to the country's crisis.

He said that Egypt was of the view that the South Sudanese crisis should be resolved through negotiation, which should focus on preserving the country's sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security.

Minister Shoukri, who is attending the NLC meeting on behalf of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, said that Egypt would offer all possible regional and international support to the Juba government for that goal to be achieved.

"The South Sudanese people, who have suffered a lot, cannot afford to lose another chance to live in peace and achieve stability in their country," he said according to a statement read by the Spokesman of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, Ahmed Abu Zeid.

Minister Shoukri praised South Sudanese President Salva Kiir’s peace efforts and confirmed that the Cairo government would be a partner to the government and people of South Sudan in their endeavours to assume the position they deserve among nations.