Egypt: EU commission president discusses Gaza humanitarian crisis
20/11/2023 11:56 in World News

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed her opposition to the "forced expulsion of the Palestinians" on Saturday during a meeting in Cairo with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.


Von der Leyen expressed Egypt's gratitude for its important role in providing and facilitating humanitarian aid to the vulnerable Palestinians in a message posted on X, formerly Twitter.



The two leaders discussed the "continuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza" and reviewed the "political vision based on a two-state solution", with Israel leading the military campaign in the Gaza Strip following the Hamas attack on October 7.


According to the Hamas government, at least 12,000 people, including 5,000 children, have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched its offensive on the Palestinian territories last month.



The conflict stemmed from a Hamas attack in which militants crossed the military border into Israel, causing up to 1,200 deaths, mostly civilians, and the arrest of around 240 people, according to reports.


Von der Leyen later arrived in the the North Sinai for the arrival of aid convoys of the European Union, according to a statement from the governor of the border region of Egypt.



The statement said he is expected to inspect the Rafah border crossing, assess the aid situation,, and visit injured Palestinians in the the North Sinai.


International aid arrived at El-Arish International Airport, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the Rafah crossing point in Gaza. The Rafah crossing, the only aid entry point not controlled by Israel, is critical to delivering aid to war-torn Gaza.

During von der Leyen's previous visit to Egypt in 2022, Israel and Egypt signed an agreement to supply Europe with natural gas. An EU official highlighted Egypt's strategic position with a large number, looking at opportunities for cooperation in energy and hydrogen in the future.


Cairo has invested billions in recent years to develop its gas industry, aiming to become an exporter. In August, researcher Sébastien Douget suggested to AFP that "Egypt has a way to become a hydrogen exporter in Europe in 2050 because of the current gas pipeline."


A European official also told AFP that the issue of immigration will be on the agenda during von der Leyen's visit.

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