15 February 2017

Opening remarks at press encounter with Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt

António Guterres

Thank you very much, honourable Minister and dear friend.

I have always believed that Egypt, due to its history, its culture, its geopolitical position, is a central player in this region, and an absolutely essential contributor for the solution of the problems of the region. And so it was for me an enormous privilege to be able to come again to Cairo and to discuss with President Sisi the different crises that we are facing together.

First of all, with a complete agreement that there is no Plan B to the situation between Palestinians and Israelis but a two-state solution and that everything must be done to preserve that possibility.

Second, a strong commitment to make sure that the fight against terrorism is pursued with total determination, but to make it effective we need also to find political solutions for the crises of the region, and how important it will be to move ahead with the Geneva talks in relation to the Syria situation, how important it is to pursue with determination the policy of national reconciliation and unity in Iraq, and at the same time a very strong belief that we must give peace a chance, in the short term, – in 2017 - to both Yemen and Libya.

I will be totally committed, as an added-value, without any intention of any type of [role of an] antagonist to support the countries of the region to come together in order to create conditions for both Yemen and Libya to be able to overcome the present crisis and to re-enter again into a process of effective reconciliation and then, afterwards, reconstruction, ending the suffering of its people and ending also the terrible impact in relations to the stability of the region.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that was given to me to discuss all these issues, and totally committed to working together with Egypt in trying to find the best solutions for the problems we face.