At the invitation of the Arab Republic of Egypt, leaders, heads of government, and envoys of a number of regional and international countries met in Cairo on Saturday, October 21, 2023, to consult and explore ways to advance efforts toward containing the aggravating crisis in the Gaza Strip and toward military de-escalation between the Israeli and Palestinian sides. Escalation has claimed thousands of innocent civilian lives since the outbreak of armed confrontations on October 7.
By calling for this summit, the Arab Republic of Egypt sought to build international consensus that transcends cultures, races, religions, and political stances, the core of which is the values of humanity and its collective conscience that rejects violence, terrorism, and unlawful killing of souls, that calls for an end to the ongoing war that has claimed the lives of thousands of innocent civilians on both the Palestinian and Israeli sides, that demands upholding the rules of international law and international humanitarian law, that underscores the ultimate importance of protecting civilians and of not exposing them to dangers and threats and that gives special priority to providing access, ensuring the flow of humanitarian and relief aid, and delivering it to the right beneficiaries from the people of the Gaza Strip. This consensus also warns of the dangers of the current conflict spreading to other areas of the region.
Egypt looked forward for the participants to launch a global call for peace, in which they agree on the importance of re-assessing the international strategy for addressing the Palestinian issue over the past decades so as to emerge from the current crisis with a new political spirit and will that pave the way for unlocking a real and serious peace process. This shall lead, in a short period of time, to the establishment of an independent Palestinian State, along the June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The international scene over the past decades has revealed a serious deficiency in finding a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian issue, because it sought to manage the conflict, and not end it permanently. It confined itself to offering temporary solutions and analgesics that do not live up to the minimum aspirations of a people who have suffered for more than 80 years of foreign occupation and attempts to obliterate identity and loss of hope. The ongoing war has also disclosed a shortcoming in the values of the international community in addressing crises. While we see one place rushing and competing to promptly condemn the killing of innocent people, we find incomprehensible hesitation in denouncing the same act in another place. We even see attempts to justify this killing, as if the life of the Palestinian human being is less important than that of other people.
The lives lost every day during the current crisis and the women and children trembling in terror under the air strikes around the clock compel the international community’s response to be commensurate with the gravity of the event. The right of the Palestinian person is not excluded from others whom the rules of international humanitarian law include or from international conventions that address human rights. The Palestinian people must enjoy all the rights enjoyed by other peoples, starting with the utmost right, which is the right to life, and their right to find safe housing, decent health care, and education for their children and above all they must have a state that embodies their identity and to which they are proud to belong.
The Arab Republic of Egypt, which took the initiative to call for the Peace Summit, expresses its deep appreciation to the countries and organizations that responded to the invitation despite time constraints.
On this occasion, it confirms that it will spare no effort in continuing to work with all partners in order to achieve the goals that called for holding this summit, regardless of the difficulties or the duration of the conflict. Egypt will always maintain its firm position in support of Palestinian rights, believing in peace as a strategic and irreversible option until the vision of a two-state solution, Palestinian and Israeli, living side by side is realized.
Within the framework of Egypt’s efforts to achieve these noble goals, it will never accept calls to liquidate the Palestinian cause at the expense of any country in the region. It will not relent for a moment in safeguarding its sovereignty and national security under increasingly dangerous and threatening circumstances and situations, relying on the help of Allah Almighty and the will and determination of its people.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Presidency, The Arab Republic of Egypt.