Ministers from the 22 Arab League member states have conducted meetings with their Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry and President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi at a time when the region faces a number of crises.
Shoukry hosted Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal and Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohamed Al-Khalifa on Monday morning to discuss the issues facing the region, including the threat posed by extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS).
Discussions at the Arab League are expected to continue following Secretary General Nabil El-Araby’s call for unity in the face of the regional crises. El-Araby insisted that the Arab League is willing to confront the threat of extremism including that of ISIS, which has modelled itself as the “Islamic State”.
Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Pierre Krähenbühl also met with Shoukry at the ministry headquarters on Monday. The pair discussed the “ongoing preparations to host a conference on the reconstruction of Gaza in Cairo”, according to a ministry statement.
Krähenbühl delivered a speech to the Arab foreign ministers at the headquarters of the Arab League on Sunday calling for $47m in the next four weeks in order to make the situation in Gaza “just about bearable”.
On the sidelines of the Arab League Council of Foreign Ministers meeting on Sunday, Shoukry met with President of the Syrian National Coalition Hadi Al-Bahra. Shoukry stressed the importance of a political solution to the conflict and the pair discussed “the latest developments… especially in light of the stalemate, which now envelopes the Syrian scene in recent times”, said a foreign ministry statement.
Al-Sisi said that Egypt is not biased towards the Syrian regime or the opposition at the end of August emphasising that the priority is to preserve the unity of Syria.
Shoukry also met with his Yemeni counterparty Jamal Al-Salal on Sunday at the Arab League headquarters.
Al-Sisi met with the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Oman as well as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Quartet envoy for the Middle East Tony Blair on Sunday at the presidential palace. Al-Sisi discussed the situation in Palestine with Abbas and Blair emphasising the need to find a solution to the conflict as it “provides a fertile environment for terrorism”.
Egypt brokered an open-ended ceasefire between Palestinian factions in Gaza and Israel, which included a one-month time period to resume indirect talks aimed at achieving a lasting truce to the decades old conflict.