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Egypt ceasefire initiative garners international support

US Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed support of Egypt’s initiative for a ceasefire agreement to end hostilities in Gaza.

“Secretary Kerry is working to support Egypt’s initiative to pursue that outcome, and will travel to the region as part of those efforts,” the US State Department stated on Monday. Kerry is also scheduled to be in Cairo on Monday, meeting with senior officials to discuss the crisis in Gaza.

Kerry, however, has also shown support for Israel’s attack on Gaza. “Israel is under siege by a terrorist organization,” the Washington Post reported Sunday.

Support for the initiative has been reiterated by Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird. “Egypt is the best-placed country in the region to help end the current hostilities. It is a historic leader in regional peace efforts, having successfully brokered numerous ceasefire agreements over the years, and Egypt’s ongoing initiative is the only serious ceasefire proposal on the table,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabuis, sought to gain support for the initiative in Amman on Saturday. “The Egyptian initiative remains on the table and the objective is ceasefire. Jordan, France and other countries support the initiative.”

Kuwait has also pledged its support for the initiative, claiming that it will not be launching its own ceasefire agreement.

Turkey, on the other hand, has been reluctant to endorse the initiative, claiming that support for the proposal would legitimize an illegitimate regime. In a statement  last week, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Egypt for its initiative, arguing that that it “is not a party” to the conflict. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry responded yesterday by summoning the Turkish chargé d’affaires to express their rejection of the recent statements made by the Turkish prime minister.

The Egyptian initiative for a ceasefire was introduced last week after hostilities erupted in Gaza. It was accepted by both Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), but rejected by Hamas, who claimed that it was not stringent enough on Israel, and stipulated that the latter must lift the siege over Gaza.

Egypt’s initiative was carried out in spirit of the ceasefire agreement that was signed in November 2012 between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, a truce that was brokered by former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

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