The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Joseph Borrellmet this Saturday with different Middle East leaders to discuss post-conflict scenarios in Gaza and look for formulas to increase the entry of humanitarian aid into the Strip.
Von der Leyen was received in Cairo by the Egyptian president, Abdelfatah el-Sisi, to address both the war situation in Gaza and the sending of humanitarian aid through the Rafah crossing, which connects the Strip with the Egyptian province of Sinai. “I thanked Egypt for its key role in providing and facilitating humanitarian aid to vulnerable Palestinians,” von der Leyen said in a tweet after the meeting with el-Sisi.
The European Commission agrees with Cairo’s position on the issue of displaced Palestinians in Gaza and stressed that they should not be “forcibly displaced”. Von der Leyen offered a “political” response to the conflict based on a “two-state solution,” although he did not detail their borders. One of the purposes of Von der Leyen and Borrell’s trip to the Middle East is to treat a post-conflict scenario that includes the participation of both the European Union, Israel, Arab leaders and the United States.
In this future scenario “it will not be possible to return to the old situation, with the territory as a haven for terrorism,” said a senior EU official at a press conference in Cairo before the meeting between Von der Leyen and al-Sisi. highlighting that Brussels rules out the survival of Hamas in Gaza. For the EU, only the Palestinian Authority – which currently governs the West Bank – will be able to control the territory, while Israel must withdraw from Gaza. “There cannot be a sustained blockade of Gaza. We have to think about the future, we have to find a formula to make Gaza economically viable,” the source added.
Von der Leyen also discussed with el-Sisi the strengthening of bilateral relations to achieve “a strategic and global partnership that is mutually beneficial,” said the president of the European Commission. Before the war, Brussels was working on a possible deal with Cairo to support Egypt’s economic development in exchange for strengthening its borders to prevent illegal immigrants from reaching Europe, especially from neighboring nations such as Sudan.