United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Cairo in the late afternoon of Monday, 21 July, on the third leg of his visit to the Middle East.
Shortly upon arrival, he went to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry to meet with Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shokry Selim in a tête-à-tête. Mr. Selim then hosted a working Iftar dinner, after which the Secretary-General and the Foreign Minister held a joint press encounter.
The Secretary-General told the press that he was in Cairo to support the Egyptian efforts to stop the fighting in Gaza and rocket attacks in Israel.
He said he was there to urge all parties to rally behind collective international efforts to end the fighting. Noting that more than 500 people had been killed, Mr. Ban stressed that the best way forward is to stop the violence, return to dialogue and address the root causes of the problems.
Later that evening, the Secretary-General met with Nabil ElAraby, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States. They discussed the ongoing international efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza.
The Secretary-General pointed out that their joint efforts were rooted in three mutually reinforcing efforts — to find a way to stop the violence, to urge parties to return to dialogue and to address the root causes of the crisis.
The Secretary-General thanked the President for his leadership role in the current efforts to establish a ceasefire in Gaza.
They both agreed on the need for an intensified concerted international effort to stop the fighting as soon as possible and also focus on the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.
They agreed to remain in close touch in the days and hours ahead.
The Secretary-General departed Cairo to Tel Aviv at 12 noon on Tuesday.