Sunak travels to Egypt for crisis talks to prevent conflict from spilling


British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will travel to Egypt on Friday as part of his Middle East tour for crisis talks to prevent the Israel-Gaza conflict spilling over across the region.

His talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi follow productive discussions with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

I had an important and productive meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. We agreed on coordinated action to prevent further escalation in the region, provide vital humanitarian aid in Gaza and support stability, both now and in the long-term, tweeted Sunak after the meeting.

Sunak “encouraged the Crown Prince to use Saudi’s leadership in the region to support stability, both now and in the long-term”, Downing Street said.

His stop at Riyadh followed a visit to Israel for talks with President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during which he addressed a joint press conference with the latter to reiterate that the UK stands with Israel in its darkest hour.

In all these conversations the Prime Minister has stressed the imperative of avoiding regional escalation and preventing the further unnecessary loss of civilian life, said Downing Street.

Sunak termed Hamas as pure evil and also pushed Israeli leaders for progress in allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza, amid warnings of a humanitarian disaster.

The British Prime Minister is on a two-day visit to the Middle East since Thursday in an effort to prevent escalation of the conflict. It visit comes directly after US President Joe Biden’s visit as world leaders step up efforts to prevent the conflict escalating across the wider region.

Biden said Israel had been “badly victimised” and had a right to strike back against Hamas but also cautioned Israelis against being “consumed” by anger, urging them not to repeat the “mistakes” made by an “enraged” United States after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Sunak has declined to back Opposition calls from the Scottish National Party and some Labour MPs for a ceasefire to protect civilians, insisting Israel has a right to “act against terrorism”.

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly told MPs on Wednesday that calls for ceasefires were “all well and good”, but he had seen no evidence that one would be respected by Hamas. The minister is also on a diplomatic trip of his own, meeting his Egyptian counterpart and is also due to visit Turkey and Qatar.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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