Egypt calls for cease-fire in Gaza, timeframe for Palestinian state

Egypt calls for cease-fire in Gaza, timeframe for Palestinian state

French foreign minister holds talks with Egypt’s president in Cairo

UPDATES WITH DETAILS, CHANGES LEDE

By Ibrahim Al-Khazen

CAIRO (AA) – Egypt called Sunday for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip and reiterated its rejection of the forced displacement of Palestinians from the enclave.

The Egyptian call came following talks in Cairo between Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his French counterpart Stephane Sejourne.

“Egypt reiterates its rejection of the forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza,” Shoukry said during a press conference.

"The Palestinian issue must be dealt with through a comprehensive political framework,” he said, calling for setting a timeframe for establishing a Palestinian state.

Sejourne, for his part, called for a cease-fire in the Palestinian territory.

“We are concerned about the increasing tensions in the Red Sea region,” the French minister said.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi also met with the French foreign minister to discuss bilateral relations and the situation in the Gaza Strip, the presidency said in a statement.

The two sides reiterated their rejection of any measures or policies to displace Palestinians from their territory, the statement added.

According to the statement, the discussions dwelt on Egyptian efforts to achieve a cease-fire in Gaza and allow humanitarian aid into the enclave to end the humanitarian crisis there.

The talks also took up a host of other issues, including developments in Sudan, Libya and the Red Sea, it added.

Tension has soared in the Red Sea amid attacks by Yemen’s Houthi group on commercial ships suspected to have links with Israel and US retaliatory airstrikes.

Israel has launched a deadly offensive on Gaza following an Oct. 7 Hamas attack, killing at least 27,365 Palestinians and injuring 66,630 others, while nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

The Israeli offensive has left 85% of Gaza’s population internally displaced 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.

*Writing by Ikram Kouachi and Rania Abu Shamala

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