Americas, Middle East

Egypt’s president, CIA chief explore ways to advance Gaza cease-fire talks

CIA Director William Burns in Egypt to push efforts to reach Gaza cease-fire deal between Israel, Hamas

Ibrahim Al-Khazen  | 09.07.2024 - Update : 09.07.2024
Egypt’s president, CIA chief explore ways to advance Gaza cease-fire talks


Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and CIA Director William Burns held talks in Cairo on Tuesday to discuss ways to advance cease-fire talks in the Gaza Strip.

Sisi reiterated Egypt’s rejection of continuing Israeli military operations in Gaza and the need to take serious steps to prevent an expansion of the conflict, the presidency said in a statement.

He also underlined the importance of applying a two-state solution as part of a settlement of the Palestinian cause, it added.

Burns, for his part, hailed Egyptian efforts for reaching a cease-fire in Gaza and the delivery of humanitarian aid into the enclave, the statement said.

On Monday, the head of Israel’s Shin Bet security service, Ronen Bar, arrived in Cairo for talks on resolving disputed points in the cease-fire negotiations.

For months, efforts by the US, Qatar, and Egypt to mediate an agreement between Israel and Hamas for a hostage exchange and cease-fire have been hampered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rejection of Hamas' call to halt hostilities.

Israel, flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7, 2023 attack by Hamas.

Nearly 38,200 Palestinians have since been killed, mostly women and children, and over 87,900 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Nine months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered it to immediately halt its military operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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