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UN chief meets Sisi, underscores political solutions to ease tensions in regional hotspots

Wednesday 15-02-2017 - 11:19 PM
UN chief meets Sisi,
Cairo - United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today reiterated his commitment to fighting terrorism but underlined also the importance of political solutions to the crises in Syria and the wider region, and put his weight behind the intra-Syrian negotiations expected to begin later this month in Geneva.

Speaking to reporters in Cairo after meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Secretary-General praised Egypt as a “central player” and an “absolutely essential contributor” to finding a solution to regional problems.

Secretary-General António Guterres (left) with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry of Egypt address reporters at a press encounter in Cairo. Photo: OSSG
He referred to the international talks on Syria held earlier this month in the Kazakh capital of Astana which resulted in an agreement on how to monitor the ceasefire effort started in December 2016.

“The Astana talks were an important contribution because they led to a ceasefire and we hope that the ceasefire will be maintained,” Mr. Guterres said, “but we consider that without a political solution, not only ceasefires cannot hold, but more than that the fight against terrorism will not be effective.”

“That is why we are so committed to make sure that the political process moves on and I hope that Geneva will be an important step in that direction,” he added in a press conference alongside the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry.

Mr. Guterres also made reference to the Security Council, saying that it was “very important to recognize that the United Nations will be what Member States allow it to be.”

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