United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Cairo — the final leg of his Middle East visit — from Iraq on the evening of Thursday, 24 July.
At a press encounter with United States Secretary of State John Kerry, shortly after arrival, the Secretary-General — referring to that day’s attack on a United Nations school in Gaza where hundreds of people had been taking refuge — expressed his anger at Israelis and Hamas and Palestinians alike, saying “it is morally wrong to kill your own people.” He told the parties that it is time to sit down together, instead of killing each other — “They should be responsible for their own people; they should be responsible for history,” he said.
He also met that evening with Sameh Hassan Shokry Selim, Foreign Minister of Egypt.
On Friday morning, the Secretary-General spoke by telephone with staff of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
He also spoke by phone with Nabil ElAraby, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, before holding a trilateral meeting with United States Secretary of State John Kerry and Egyptian Foreign Minister Selim. They then held a trilateral phone call with Khalid Bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah, Foreign Minister of Qatar.
On Friday evening, following a meeting with Messrs. Kerry, Selim and ElAraby, all four held a press conference to call for a seven-day humanitarian ceasefire, beginning with an extendable 12-hour pause. On this last Friday of Ramadan, the Secretary-General suggested taking inspiration from this season of peace and reflection. He said that the “United Nations is fully committed to ensuring the success of this proposal and securing hope and dignity for all the people of Palestine and Israel.”
The Secretary-General departed Cairo that night to New York, where he arrived on Saturday, 26 July.