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Egypt, Iran warn against expanding Gaza conflict

On Tuesday, both Egypt and Iran expressed concerns about further escalation in the Middle East amidst Israel's ongoing attack on Gaza. The Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, met with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, during the High-Level Segment of the 55th session of the UN Human Rights Council and Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published February 27,2024

Egypt and Iran warned Tuesday of the risks of expanding the conflict in the Middle East amid an Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry held talks with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on the sidelines of the High-Level Segment (HLS) of the 55th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

"Egypt is deeply worried about the expansion of the conflict in the region, which portends serious consequences for the security and stability of a number of Arab countries," an Egyptian Foreign Ministry statement quoted Shoukry as saying during the meeting.

"The complexity of the region's crises casts a shadow over stability for all peoples of the region," he added.

The top diplomat also expressed his country's concern over military tensions in the Red Sea, "which pose a serious threat to international shipping traffic and cause direct harm to the interests of a large number of countries, including Egypt."

"This requires the cooperation of all countries in the region to support stability and peace and eliminate hotbeds of tension and conflicts in that region," Shoukry added.

Yemen's Houthi group has been targeting cargo ships in the Red Sea owned or operated by Israeli companies or transporting goods to and from Israel in solidarity with the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli onslaught since Oct. 7.

The Egyptian and Iranian ministers discussed efforts to reach a cease-fire in Gaza and allow the entry of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian enclave, the statement said.

They reiterated their categorical rejection of any plots to displace Palestinians from their lands and liquidate their cause, according to the statement.

Egypt, along with Qatar and the US, is mediating between Hamas and Israel to put an end to a deadly Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7.

Nearly 29,900 Palestinians have been killed and over 70,000 others injured in Israeli attacks on Gaza since an Oct. 7 Hamas attack amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities, while nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.