Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi and Jordanian leader, King Abdullah II have collectively condemned the “collective punishment” of Palestinians in Gaza as they met in Egypt’s capital Cairo for talks on the Israel-Hamas war.
Ahead of the meeting on Thursday October 19, 2023, the Jordanian royal court said Sisi and King Abdullah would “discuss means to stop the Israeli aggression on Gaza”.
In separate statements issued after the meeting, the Egyptian presidency and the royal court said the two leaders “affirmed their unified position rejecting the policy of collective punishment in the siege, starvation or displacement” of Palestinians.
Sisi and King Abdullah warned of regional spillover.
“If the war does not stop”, it would threaten “to plunge the entire region into catastrophe”, according to the Jordanian statement.
The pair had been due to hold talks with US President Joe Biden and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan this week, but Jordan cancelled the meeting after a deadly strike on a Gaza hospital.
Their meeting comes on the same day that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is expected in Cairo.
In a meeting with UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly in Cairo on Thursday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed “the priority of delivering humanitarian and emergency aid to the people of Gaza”, according to the foreign ministry.
Sisi also discussed “the situation in Gaza” with US Central Command chief Michael Kurilla, his office said on Thursday.
Egypt and Jordan were the first Arab states to normalise relations with Israel, in 1979 and 1994 respectively, and have since been key mediators between Israeli and Palestinian officials.