Washington — European Council President Charles Michel will visit Egypt on Saturday where he call for support for the country, which borders the war-torn Gaza Strip, he said on Thursday.
“Egypt needs support, so let’s support Egypt,” said Michel, who is in Washington to attend a summit with US President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Friday.
He added that he would meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during his weekend visit.
In addition, Michel will attend at Sisi’s invitation a “conference on the current developments in the Middle East, Palestine and the Peace Process,” said his spokesperson, Ecaterina Casinge.
Accompanying Michel to Egypt will be Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Casinge said.
The EU and the US are meeting in Washington DC tomorrow. Leaders will review the close transatlantic partnership and discuss:
• the global clean energy economy
• secure supply chains
• digital infrastructure
• support to Ukraine
• the situation in the Middle East
— EU Council (@EUCouncil) October 19, 2023
Von der Leyen announced earlier in the week in Tirana that the European Union would open a humanitarian air corridor to the Gaza Strip.
Michel gave strong support to President Biden, who visited Israel on Wednesday and said he had obtained permission from Cairo to let some 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid through, and reiterated the EU’s support for Israel’s right “to defend itself” in accordance with international law.
The Israeli army and the Hamas militant movement in Gaza are blaming each other for the deadly strike on Gaza’s Ahli Arab hospital.
Long-awaited humanitarian aid for Palestinians stranded in the Gaza Strip is set to start flowing on Friday, Egyptian media reported on Thursday, on the 13th day of a deadly war between Israel and Hamas, triggered by the Palestinian group’s attack on Israel on October 7.
The European leader went on to stress the “challenge” posed by the potential influx of refugees into Egypt, and said he expected an “important exchange of information” on the subject on Friday at an US-EU summit in Washington.
In Washington for 🇪🇺-🇺🇸 summit with @POTUS @JoeBiden.
EU & US share a strong bond. And we are making it even stronger.
In #MiddleEast we condemn Hamas terrorist attacks against the people of Israel.
Israel has the right to defend itself, in line with international law.… pic.twitter.com/Z7z4RPuRix
— Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) October 19, 2023
Asked whether Europe was speaking with one voice, he replied: “The answer is yes,” citing the unified position expressed by European leaders during a videoconference on Tuesday evening.
The informal European summit aimed to clarify the European position after a series of criticisms of the message sent by the President of the European Commission during her recent visit to Israel.
“We stand with Israel,” Von der Leyen said in a speech to the Hudson Institute think-tank in Washington Thursday, repeating that the nation had a right to defend itself in the face of the “horror” committed by Hamas in its attack.
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