BRUSSELS — Egypt’s envoy to Brussels slammed the West’s stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict, accusing it of getting a pro-Israel bias that he says is damaging its repute within the Center East.
In an interview in his Brussels residence, Cairo’s prime diplomat within the EU capital, Badr Abdelatty, additionally burdened his nation won’t settle for Palestinian refugees fleeing from Gaza.
“We won’t enable the liquidation of the Palestinian trigger and to have one other Nakba [or “catastrophe” in Arabic, referring to the mass uprooting of Palestinians in the war over Israel’s creation in 1948] on the expense of the neighboring international locations, whether or not it’s Jordan or Egypt,” Abdelatty advised POLITICO.
After Hamas killed greater than 1,400 folks on October 7, Israel launched airstrikes and, not too long ago, floor operations throughout Gaza, killing greater than 8,500 folks, together with 1000’s of kids, in keeping with the Hamas-run Ministry of Well being. Israel has rejected requires a cease-fire and U.S. President Joe Biden has stated he won’t name for a cease-fire and he helps Israel’s proper to defend itself.
Egypt performs a key position within the battle between Israel and Hamas, because it offers an entry level for humanitarian support to civilians in Gaza by way of the Rafah border crossing. Previous to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, lots of of support vehicles went into Gaza by way of the Rafah border crossing each day, which nearly all of the Israeli-occupied territory has relied upon since 2007 after Israel blockaded its land, air and sea borders when Hamas took management, severely limiting the motion of products and other people out and in of Gaza. Because the begin of the conflict, support vehicles have solely trickled in by way of the Rafah border crossing.
Egypt additionally not too long ago hosted a peace convention in Cairo.
The Egyptian diplomat stated that public opinion within the Center East has a harsh evaluation of the West’s stance on the battle, claiming that “double requirements” are undermining the West’s repute within the area.
“Public opinion in the entire area is shocked, [is] very upset with this biased angle,” he stated. “And there’s a sense of conviction among the many public opinion in our neighborhood that [in the eyes of the West] the lives of the Westerners are extra treasured than the lives of the Palestinians.”
Abdelatty vented his frustration at “some speeches [that had] a totally biased standpoint,” though he stopped wanting naming who gave these speeches.
He additionally warned that the fallout from the battle might result in extra migrants arriving in Europe and gasoline fundamentalism on the EU’s doorstep. “Put your self within the footwear of youngsters who’re 10 years outdated and they’re shedding their households. What do you count on from them sooner or later?” he requested.
His feedback come amid a backlash — together with from some EU staffers — in opposition to European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen’s stance on the battle. Von der Leyen has been accused of taking a robust pro-Israel line.
Abdelatty burdened that internet hosting a second worldwide peace convention — an thought backed by EU leaders after intense strain from Spain — is vital to relaunching the peace course of between Israel and Palestine.
“With out fixing the Palestinian problem there can be no peace and stability within the area,” stated Abdelatty, who referred to as for a two-state answer and the institution of an unbiased Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital — utilizing the borders from June 4, 1967, the day earlier than Israel’s occupation of the West Financial institution, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
He added that the three most pressing priorities for Egypt are a direct ceasefire; “having sustainable and unconditional movement of humanitarian and medical help;” and creating “a political horizon,” that means the resumption of talks between the 2 sides primarily based on internationally agreed parameters.
Support cope with the EU
Cairo’s envoy to Brussels poured chilly water on strategies that the EU is near agreeing on an support cope with Egypt.
Von der Leyen wrote to EU leaders final week, pushing for an financial settlement with Cairo. Akin to deal would mark a brand new step within the Fee’s technique of funneling EU money to northern African international locations in a bid to assist their economies and halt migration flows to Europe.
Abdelatty burdened that any settlement on financial cooperation with the EU would don’t have anything to do with the scenario in Gaza. He added that formal talks with the EU haven’t but begun and declined to present a timeline for any potential settlement, though a gathering of the EU-Egypt Affiliation Council is slated for January 2024.
Migrant departures from Egypt are near zero however the nation does host some 9 million refugees and lots of Egyptians cross the border to Libya, a key departure level for Europe.
Cairo’s envoy requested the EU to double the present €160 million funding for Egypt to patrol its borders and assist the refugees residing there.
He emphasised that any future cope with Brussels ought to transcend migration and increase the financial system of the Arab nation by closing its commerce hole with the EU.
“[The agreement should be] primarily based on a win-win scenario and actual partnership, not anymore a donor-recipient [relationship],” stated the ambassador.