Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi returned late Sunday afternoon from Cairo, where he met with his Egyptian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, at Tahrir Palace, the official guest house of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.
Ashkenazi expressed his appreciation for Egypt’s historic role in the breakthrough for peace between Israel and its neighbors, and for its concern for regional security stability and thanked him for Egypt’s commitment to the issue.
The two ministers discussed the challenges of preventing Hamas from intensifying its control over the Gaza Strip.
“We will not allow a situation in which rehabilitation in the Gaza Strip will allow Hamas to rebuild its terrorist capabilities and without resolving the issue of returning the prisoners and missing persons held by the Hamas terrorist organization,” Ashkenazi said.
He noted that the continued activity of the Palestinian Authority in international organizations and forums, such as the International Criminal Court at The Hague (ICC) and the Human Rights Council, undermines the prospects for future cooperation.
“Continued incitement by the Palestinian Authority and its activity in international institutions constitute a significant obstacle to the existence of a political discourse and confidence-building measures on the ground,” Ashkenazi said.
The ministers also discussed regional strategic issues and the prospects of strengthening bilateral ties between the countries and expanding cooperation in the fields of trade, economy and tourism.
“Operation Guardian of the Walls has expanded the circle of nations with whom Israel has peace agreements and has created an opportunity to strengthen the ties and cooperation between Israel and Arab nations,” Ashkenazi said in his statement.
“It is incumbent upon all of us to seize the obligation to take action to curb every attempt to damage the stability in the region via terrorist organizations and extremist elements such as Iran and its proxies,” he said.