French President Emmanuel Macron met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Wednesday to discuss the Israel-Palestinian peace process. Macron’s visit to Egypt comes after his trip to Israel, where he expressed support for Israel’s retaliation against Hamas following the deadliest attack in its history. During the joint news conference, both leaders emphasized the need to avoid a ground invasion of Gaza due to the potential for civilian casualties.
Macron reiterated France’s commitment to universal values of humanism and stated that international law should apply to everyone, addressing claims by Arab leaders that Western nations have overlooked harm to Palestinians. Egypt and Jordan, the first two Arab states to establish relations with Israel, have played crucial roles as mediators in the region. Cairo has been actively involved in efforts to secure the release of over 200 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.
The French president announced that France would be sending a navy ship to support Gaza’s hospitals within the next 48 hours. Additionally, a planeload of medical equipment would be sent to Egypt for transportation into Gaza through the Rafah crossing, which is not controlled by Israel. While humanitarian aid has been allowed to enter Gaza through Rafah, the United Nations warns that a significant increase is necessary to meet the needs of the 2.4 million people in the region, half of whom have been displaced.
El-Sisi called for a de-escalation, cease-fire, and a return to diplomacy, highlighting that the lack of a political solution has contributed to the current conflict. Macron echoed El-Sisi’s support for a two-state solution, which has been the foundation of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Although resuming peace talks seems challenging at the moment, Macron emphasized its necessity. Arab leaders have consistently advocated for a political process and warned of potential regional consequences resulting from the Hamas-Israel war.
Prior to meeting Macron, El-Sisi inspected Egyptian troops and addressed them in a televised speech, emphasizing the importance of patience and wisdom. He urged the troops to be prepared and stated that Egypt is doing everything it can to push for de-escalation, a cease-fire, and to provide support to civilians in Gaza through the Rafah border crossing. The military display was originally planned to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Egypt’s victory in regaining control of the Sinai Peninsula from Israel in 1973.
The meeting between Macron and El-Sisi underscores the international community’s concern over the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. Both leaders stressed the need for a political solution and called for an end to the violence. Macron’s commitment to sending aid to Gaza demonstrates France’s support for the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian population.
As the crisis continues, it is crucial for all parties involved to prioritize diplomacy and work towards a lasting peace agreement. The international community must continue to exert pressure on both Israel and Hamas to cease hostilities and engage in meaningful negotiations. The conflict has already resulted in significant loss of life and displacement, and it is imperative to prevent further escalation and suffering.
In conclusion, Macron’s visit to Egypt highlights the importance of international cooperation in resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The French president’s commitment to providing aid to Gaza demonstrates France’s dedication to addressing the humanitarian crisis in the region. The meeting between Macron and El-Sisi serves as a reminder of the urgency to find a political solution and end the violence.