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25/10/23 | 5:30 am

Egypt’s Sisi says Cairo playing positive role in de-escalating Gaza crisis

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on October 25 that his country was playing a “very positive role” trying to de-escalate and find a diplomatic solution to the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Egypt has taken an active role in negotiating access to aid for people in Gaza through the Rafah crossing, which it shares with Gaza, as well as in negotiations for hostage releases, while advocating for a ceasefire in the conflict.

Inspecting scores of Egyptian warplanes, tanks, and other military hardware at an exercise on the western edge of the Sinai Peninsula, about 135 miles (215 km) from Egypt’s border with the Gaza strip, he said that though Egypt had considerable military capabilities it would only ever use them wisely and in self-defence.

“It’s very important when you have this kind of power that you use it reasonably, wisely, and maturely and you don’t overstep and have illusions about your own strength,” he said, alluding to internal calls for Egypt to involve itself in the conflict.

Sisi, who is scheduled to meet French President Emmanuel Macron in Cairo on Wednesday, said the military exercise had been intended for events to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1973 war against Israel that started on October 6, but had been postponed due to the conflict.

At a Cairo peace summit on October 21, Sisi warned against any Israeli move to displace Gazans into Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, saying “the dissolution of the Palestinian cause without a just solution will not happen, and in any case will never happen at Egypt’s expense.”

(Inputs from Reuters)

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