Tillerson Stresses US Commitment to Peace Process, Sisi Underlines Need for ‘Just Solution’

Tillerson Stresses US Commitment to Peace Process, Sisi Underlines Need for ‘Just Solution’

Tuesday, 13 February, 2018 - 07:45
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry hold a press conference after their meeting in Cairo, Egypt. (AP)
Cairo - Sawsan Abou Hussein
Washington and Cairo agreed on Monday on the establishment of a new mechanism of cooperation to support peace and stability in the region.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry announced at the end of his talks with his American counterpart Rex Tillerson in Cairo that agreement was reached to adopt the “2+2 formula” and activating the strategic dialogue between the two countries in the second half of 2018.

Tillerson meanwhile stressed his country’s commitment to the peace process in the Middle East and to working with Egypt to root out terrorism.

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi underlined, during his meeting with Tillerson, Egypt’s clear and firm position on reaching a just and comprehensive solution that guarantees the rights of the Palestinian people and the establishment of an independent state based on the borders of June 4, 1967.

He also called on the United States, as the main sponsor of the peace process, to revive and push the negotiations forward in accordance with the relevant international resolutions.

Ambassador Bassam Radi, spokesman for the Egyptian presidency, said that the US official described Egypt as an important partner to his country, underlining American support for Cairo in its war against terrorism.

“The Egyptian people should be confident that the US commitment to continue to support Egypt in its fight against terrorism and bringing security to Egyptian people is steadfast,” Tillerson said.

He noted that he had a “very productive discussion on our shared regional and security concerns,” adding: “We spoke about opportunities as to how to strengthen our ties and, as the foreign minister indicated, mechanisms by which we can deepen those ties and further explore areas for mutual cooperation, first through the strategic dialogue which we’ve agreed we will have later this year, and then we’re going to explore also the possibility of a 2+2 dialogue to even allow us to further enhance these conversations both on a full range of issues of not just security concerns, but political and economic opportunities as well.”

As for the Egyptian presidential elections, which will be held in the end of March, the US State Secretary said his country “supports a transparent and credible electoral process, and all citizens being given the right and the opportunity to participate freely and fairly.”

On Libya, the United States and Egypt support the UN’s Action Plan for Libya for credible and peaceful elections in their country, Tillerson stressed.

He also noted that talks with Shoukry touched on the means to work together to reinforce the UN-led Geneva political process for Syria, which he said was the only political framework through which this conflict can be resolved.

Tillerson reiterated President Donald Trump’s administration’s commitment to achieving a lasting peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Asked whether the US would launch a diplomatic process with North Korea, he said: “I think it’s too early to judge. As we’ve said for some time, it’s really up to the North Koreans to decide when they’re ready to engage with us in a sincere way, a meaningful way.”

Shoukry, for his part, noted that Egypt’s relations with North Korea were limited to diplomatic representation and called for maintaining global security and resolving pending issues in the Korean Peninsula.

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