Pedro Sánchez: "I join the UN Secretary General's call for a humanitarian ceasefire"

President's News - 2023.10.21

Cairo (Egypt)

Pedro Sánchez has taken part in the Cairo Summit for Peace, organised by the President of Egypt, Abdel Fatah Al Sisi, to address the situation in the Middle East and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

He spoke at the inaugural session, where he shared Spain's position with the other leaders, while conveying the need for this summit to be a first step towards restoring peace in the region and putting an end to the violence. "Spain's position is crystal clear and reflected in the joint declaration that EU leaders adopted last Sunday," he said, reiterating that we firmly condemn the terrorist attacks perpetrated against Israel and recognise Israel's right to defend itself in accordance with international law and international humanitarian law.

"Right now we must focus on both the urgent and the important," explained Pedro Sánchez, stressing that protecting civilians and ensuring access to Gaza for humanitarian aid are the main priorities today. "I join the UN Secretary General in calling for a humanitarian ceasefire," he said, reiterating that Hamas must immediately and unconditionally release all hostages. President Sánchez also stressed the importance of preventing this conflict from turning into a regional crisis using all possible means. To this effect, he urged the other leaders to deploy all the necessary political levers to achieve a de-escalation.

Pedro Sánchez recalled that, when working to respond to this emergency, the international community must move forward with a focus on the medium term. "We must also act on what is important," he said, highlighting that it is essential to offer the Palestinian population a credible horizon of peace, which must include the materialisation of the two-state solution (Palestine-Israel) in a peaceful and secure coexistence. "For too many years, the international community thought that we could live without taking too much notice of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," lamented President Sánchez. "Recent events have shown that we were clearly wrong," he stated. He also emphasised the need to offer a horizon of hope based on a common effort, as was offered in the past by the 1991 Madrid Conference and the Oslo Agreements.

Bilateral meetings in Cairo: Iraqi Prime Minister and the Palestinian Authority

In the margins of this summit, the acting President Sánchez held a bilateral meeting with the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, to whom he was able to convey that Spanish Cooperation will mean an additional €4 billion in aid to Gaza. As President Sánchez told him, €21 million in aid to the Palestinian population will be reached in 2023, which is 30% more than in 2022.

In addition, the European Commission will triple aid to Gaza (from €27 to €75 million). The acting president also held a bilateral meeting with Iraq's Prime Minister Al Sudani, with whom he discussed the situation in the region, the two leaders agreeing on the need to join forces to achieve de-escalation. Pedro Sánchez also shared with his Iraqi counterpart the importance of moving towards a two-state solution to offer a horizon of hope and coexistence in peace and security.

Non official translation

More Info