President El-Sisi's Speech at the Cairo Peace Summit
Saturday، 21 October 2023 - 05:12 PM
“In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful”
Your Majesties, Highnesses and Excellences
The Kings, Princes, Heads of State and Government
We are meeting in Cairo today at a challenging time that tests our humanity before our interests and the depth of our faith in the value of the human being and in his right to life. The principles we profess to support are also called into question and scrutinized in these difficult times.
I tell you honestly, that all the peoples of the world, not only the peoples of this region, are following with eyes wide open our stances at this momentous and historical moment, in the wake of the military escalation which began on the seventh of October in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Egypt condemns, in the clearest terms, the targeting, killing and intimidation of peaceful civilians. At the same time, Egypt is expressing its deep shock that the world is standing by idly, while the catastrophic humanitarian crisis unfolds. Two and a half million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are being subjected to collective punishment. They are living under siege and facing starvation and ferocious pressure of forced displacement, through practices condemned by the civilized world that has concluded agreements and established the international law and humanitarian international law to criminalize and prohibit their recurrence. This compels us to restate our call to provide international protection for the Palestinian people and the innocent civilians.
Where are the values of human civilization that we have established over long millennia and decades? Where is equality of human souls without discrimination or segregation or .. double standards?
From the very first moment, Egypt has engaged in unyielding, strenuous and vigorous efforts, day and night, to coordinate and deliver humanitarian aid and relief to the besieged Palestinians in Gaza. Egypt has not closed the Rafah land crossing at any moment. However, the repeated Israeli shelling of the Palestinian side obstructed its operation. Amidst the severity of the circumstances on the ground, I agreed with the American President to operate the crossing on a sustainable basis, under the supervision of and coordination with the United Nations, the UNRWA and the Palestinian Red Crescent. The aid and relief shall be distributed under the supervision of the United Nations to the people in the Gaza Strip.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The world must never condone the use of human suffering to force people into displacement. Egypt has affirmed, and is reiterating, its vehement rejection of the forced displacement of the Palestinians and their transfer to Egyptian lands in Sinai, as this will mark the last gasp in the liquidation of the Palestinian cause, shatter the dream of an independent Palestinian state, and squander the struggle of the Palestinian people and that of the Arab and Islamic peoples over the course of the Palestinian cause that has endured for 75 years.
He will be mistaken in his understanding of the nature of the Palestinian people, whoever thinks that these proud, steadfast and resilient people are willing to abandon their land, even if that land is under occupation or bombardment.
I want to state it clearly and unequivocally to the world, and articulate in sincere terms the will of all the Egyptian people, every single Egyptian: that the liquidation of the Palestinian cause without a just solution is beyond the realm of possibility, and in all cases it will never happen at the expense of Egypt, absolutely not.
Is this region destined to endure this conflict for eternity?
Isn’t it about time to address the root causes of the problem of the Middle East.
Hasn’t the time come yet to dispel the political illusions that the status quo can sustain, meaning the state of unilateral measures, settlements, the desecration of holy sites, and uprooting of the Palestinians from their homes and villages and from Al Quds Al Sharif (The Holy City of Jerusalem).
Egypt has paid a heavy price for peace to prevail in this region .. it initiated it when the voice of war predominated .. and maintained it alone .. when the voice of hollow exaggerations was prevalent. Egypt stood tall, leading its region toward peaceful co-existence based on justice.
Today, Egypt is telling you in all candor and sincerity: that the solution for the Palestinian cause is not displacement, and is not by forcibly transferring the entire people to other regions; the one and only solution is justice, with the Palestinians obtaining their legitimate rights for self-determination, and leading a proud and safe life in an independent state on their land like the rest of the peoples of the earth
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are encountering an unprecedented crisis, that necessitates utmost attention to prevent the conflict from expanding in a manner that compromises the stability of the region and undermines international peace and security.
Therefore, I have extended an invitation to you today to deliberate and work together toward reaching a specific agreement on a roadmap, that aims to end the current humanitarian tragedy and revive the path of peace through several spheres:
This starts with ensuring the full, safe, unfettered and sustainable flow of humanitarian aid and relief to the people of Gaza, followed instantaneously by negotiations on achieving calm and a ceasefire. Then talks on reviving the peace process shall start immediately to put into effect the two-state solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State, living side by side with Israel, on the basis of the resolutions of international legitimacy. This shall take place while working, in earnest, to bolster the legitimate Palestinian National Authority to assume its duties, in full capacity, in the Palestinian territories.
Let us send a message to the peoples of the world. Let us tell them that their leaders acknowledge the magnitude of the responsibility, that they see with their own eyes the fully-fledged humanitarian catastrophe, and that they feel, from the bottom of their hearts, the pain for every innocent child who dies in a conflict that he does not comprehend .. death strikes them in a shelling or bombardment, or approaches them slowly in a wound that finds no medicine .. or they starve to death.
Let us send a message of hope to the peoples of the world that tomorrow will be better than today.
May Allah’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you