Gaza-Israel border: UN chief pays tribute to Egypt’s role in avoiding ‘dramatic’ escalation.

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UN Secretary-General Antnio Guterres has paid tribute to the role played by Egypt in helping to avoid a ‘dramatic’ escalation of violence in Gaza over recent months, as tensions grew over Palestinian protests at the border, Hamas rocket attacks, and reprisal airstrikes by Israel.
At a press conference held in Cairo on Wednesday, Mr Guterres said that Egypt was a fundamental partner for the UN in relation to peace and security in the region,” and described the UN cooperation with Egypt as an essential aspect of the Organisations work.
As well as avoiding escalation in the Gaza Strip, Mr Guterres said that Egypt commitment has created the conditions for more effective humanitarian aid to the region, and is playing an integral part in forging unity between the two main Palestinian factions – the extremist group Hamas, which controls Gaza, and Fatah, which runs the Palestinian National Authority, in the occupied West Bank.
Last week, as Palestinian protesters prepared to mark the anniversary of the “Great March of Return demonstrations along the border fence with Israel, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, updated the Security Council on the UNs efforts along with Egypt, to mediate between Hamas and Israel in order to quell rocket attacks and airstrikes.
The UN chief, who arrived in the region at the weekend, addressing the Arab League in Tunis – said that everything must be done to guarantee that there will be two States side-by-side, Palestine and Israel, living together in peace and security, adding that Egypt and the UN see eye to eye on this issue, and that the UN will continue working with Egypt to achieve that objective.
Mr Guterres also discussed the situation in war-ridden Yemen and Syria with members of the Government during his visit to Egypt, and he said that he believed both parties agree on what needs to be done for a lasting political solution to the conflicts in both countries.

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