Trip by the President of the Government of Spain to Egypt

Sánchez, at the Rafah Crossing: "Violence will only lead to more violence. We must replace it with hope"

President's News - 2023.11.24

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Rafah Crossing, Egypt

In this context, he held a meeting with the President of Egypt, Abdelfatah El-Sisi, with whom he discussed the current situation in the region following the crisis unleashed by the terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas in Israel on 7 October.

President Sánchez stressed that the response to these terrorist acts cannot be the death of civilians in Gaza, including thousands of children, emphasising the importance of continuing to make progress on getting humanitarian aid into Gaza on a large scale and on a regular basis. He welcomed the agreement to release the hostages and to establish a humanitarian pause, expressing the hope that this would lay the groundwork for a lasting humanitarian ceasefire.

"We must take the necessary steps towards this humanitarian and lasting ceasefire," he explained. "This is what we ask of the Israeli authorities, with whom we have had frank exchanges". This was the message President Sánchez conveyed to the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamín Netanyahu, in the framework of the meeting the two leaders held yesterday in Jerusalem.

President Sánchez today thanked Egypt for the role it is playing at various levels in dealing with the current war in Gaza, stressing that it is a decisive country both diplomatically and in other areas that today enable the alleviation of the situation of the Gazan population, notably the delivery of humanitarian aid, the evacuation of Palestinians in need of medical treatment, and the evacuation of foreigners. "To help the Egyptian authorities respond to the current crisis, Spain will this week deliver a shipment of medical material," the Prime Minister explained, specifying that four tonnes of equipment will be delivered through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to Egyptian hospitals to increase their capacity to provide medical treatment to evacuees from Gaza. Spain will also send another shipment to the Palestinian Red Crescent, with material to assist 50,000 people for three months.

Pedro Sánchez has sent a message of commitment to the search for a comprehensive solution to the crisis, and has defended a serious and credible perspective for peace, with an international community actively and constructively involved in the resolution of the conflict. "I have proposed to convene an international peace conference with the parties as soon as possible," the president commented, recalling that the EU, the League of Arab States and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation have endorsed the idea, and calling on other countries to join this process.

During the day, President Sánchez also held a meeting with Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the Arab League. He expressed his solidarity with the Arab community in the current situation in the Gaza Strip, and conveyed to him the importance of all actors working together to find a solution. In this regard, he acknowledged the importance of the Arab League and conveyed Spain's support and desire to move towards a two-state solution between Palestine and Israel.

The President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, during his visit to the Rafah Crossing | Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa

Pedro Sánchez and Alexander De Croo ended their trip at the Rafah Crossing, where they reiterated the urgency of putting an end to one of the most serious humanitarian crises the region has experienced in recent years. There they again underlined the need to move towards a lasting ceasefire to reverse the catastrophic situation Gaza is currently experiencing. "Violence will only lead to more violence," President Sanchez reiterated. "We have to replace violence with hope, as I was able to tell President Herzog and Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday".

He reiterated his desire for an international peace conference, in which Israel and Palestine would be present and which would have the support of the international community. "The EU, the Arab League and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development have already called for it to be held as soon as possible," he recalled. "Europe is ready to work to make this happen".

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