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Egyptian, Irish FMs discuss efforts to realize Gaza ceasefire

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Cairo: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Tuesday held phone talks with his Irish counterpart Micheal Martin on efforts to implement an immediate ceasefire in the conflict-torn Gaza Strip.

The talks, which came a day after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, also covered the prospect of turning an expected truce into a permanent ceasefire and ending the Gaza war, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Shoukry and Martin, also Ireland’s deputy prime minister and defense minister, addressed means to prevent any Israeli moves to launch a military operation in the southern Gazan city of Rafah, which is now home to about 1.5 million internally displaced Palestinians.

Shoukry updated Martin on Egypt’s latest efforts to mediate a truce between Israel and Hamas that hopefully leads to a permanent ceasefire, in addition to Egypt’s endeavors to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza.

For his part, Martin elaborated on Ireland’s recent communication with several European countries to consider recognizing the State of Palestine.

“The only way to achieve security and stability in the Middle East region is through implementing the two-state solution and establishing an independent Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security,” Martin was quoted by the statement as saying.

The UNSC on Monday adopted Resolution 2728 demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza during Ramadan and calling for the release of all hostages.

The resolution won 14 votes in favor among the 15 UNSC members. The United States, which had previously vetoed three draft resolutions that would have called for or demanded a ceasefire in Gaza, abstained, making it possible for the resolution to pass.

Israel has been launching a large-scale offensive against Hamas in Gaza to retaliate against a Hamas rampage through the southern Israeli border on Oct 7, 2023, during which about 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 were taken hostage. The Israeli strikes in Gaza have so far killed 32,414 Palestinians and injured 74,787 others, said Gaza’s Health Ministry on Tuesday.

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