Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi on Monday visited Ramallah where he held
talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Fahmi relayed a
message from interim President Adli Mansour, who thanked the PA president for
supporting the ouster of deposed President Mohamed Morsi.
In his letter,
Mansour also voiced support for the PA and the Palestinians’ aspirations for
independence, the official PA news agency Wafa reported.
This was Fahmi’s
first visit abroad since he assumed office last month. He arrived in Ramallah
aboard a Jordanian military helicopter.
Abbas and Fahmi discussed several
issues, including the situation along the border between the Gaza Strip and
Egypt in the aftermath of Morsi’s removal.
A PA official said that the
Egyptians support placing the Rafah border crossing
under the control of PA
forces, as was the case before Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in
Hamas, however, remains strongly opposed to the return of PA forces
to the Rafah terminal.
Fahmi told reporters after the meeting that Egypt
was seriously seeking ways of ensuring stability along the border with the Gaza
Strip. He said that Egypt was hoping to reach agreement on new arrangements at
the border that would facilitate the movement of Palestinians.
added that he was concerned about deteriorating security along his country’s
border with the Gaza Strip.
“When there’s stability along the border or
in Sinai, this would have an impact on all the border crossings,” he added. “But
we are determined to secure the border so as to avoid suffering of
Following the ouster of Morsi, the Egyptians have imposed
severe restrictions at the Rafah border crossing, limiting the number of
Palestinians travelers in both directions.
The Egyptian army has also
destroyed dozens of smuggling tunnels along the border over the past few weeks,
drawing sharp criticism from Hamas and other Palestinians.
that he came to Ramallah to voice Egypt’s support for the Palestinians in their
effort to establish an independent state with east Jerusalem as its
“The Palestinian cause will remain at the top of Egypt’s list of
priorities,” Fahmi said.
PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki hailed Egypt’s
support for the Palestinians and its efforts to achieve Palestinian national
Malki said that Abbas expressed confidence during the meeting that
Egypt would ease restrictions at the Rafah border crossing to alleviate the
suffering of travelers.
Malki reiterated the PA’s opposition to any
attempt to meddle in Egypt’s internal affairs – a reference to Hamas’s support
for the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi.