British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak embarked on a diplomatic mission to the Middle East, meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo.
Their discussions centered on critical issues concerning the ongoing conflict in the region, particularly the need to facilitate humanitarian aid into Gaza while minimizing civilian casualties in Israel’s conflict with Hamas.
During these talks, Prime Minister Sunak emphasized the utmost importance of preventing a wider regional conflict and averting any further unnecessary harm to civilians.
He also highlighted progress made in ensuring humanitarian aid reaches those in need.
In Cairo, Sunak stated, “We’ve also made good progress on tangible areas like ensuring access for humanitarian aid to those who need it.”
Earlier in the week, U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to the region faced disruption when Arab leaders canceled a meeting with him due to an explosion at a Gaza Strip hospital.
Israeli and Palestinian officials exchanged blame for the incident. Nonetheless, President Biden secured Israel’s commitment to allowing limited aid shipments to Gaza through the Egyptian-controlled Rafah crossing, with the condition of strict monitoring to prevent assistance from reaching Hamas.
Sunak expressed his satisfaction with this development, saying, “When this crisis unfolded, one thing we have prioritized consistently is getting the Rafah crossing (open).
It’s been a feature of all my conversations, and I’m very pleased that that will now imminently happen.”
Before his meeting in Cairo, Prime Minister Sunak visited Jerusalem to demonstrate solidarity with Israel and explore possibilities for negotiating the release of hostages held by Hamas.
He also engaged with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, urging Saudi Arabia to leverage its leadership in the region to promote stability.
In his discussions with President Mahmoud Abbas, Sunak conveyed his “deep condolences” for the loss of civilian lives in Gaza, including the tragic destruction of the hospital.
It’s noteworthy that the British government is currently assessing the incident and has not assigned blame for the explosion.
Sunak’s office stated, “The leaders agreed on the need for all parties to take steps to protect civilians, and civilian infrastructure, and minimize the loss of innocent lives.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s diplomatic efforts underscored the urgency of addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and preventing further escalation of violence, while also seeking to maintain stability and security in the region.