Egyptian Foreign Minister says situation in Gaza is dire

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Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry says his country is doing all in its power to mediate for a ceasefire in the Middle East.

He says more than 33 000 people have been killed, mostly women and children, in Palestine.

Shoukry says the situation in Gaza is dire and has also called for more funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

The organisation has been struggling to raise funds after some countries withdrew financial support. Shoukry spoke to the media in Pretoria after his meeting with International Relations Minister Dr Naledi Pandor.

“It is absolutely essential that we continue to focus on the lives and safety of the Palestinian people, that the international conscious should be able to support and live with. The scale of loss of life, of injury, 33 000 among them 20 000 women and children is appalling and must stop. We must reach a ceasefire. We must return the hostages. We must provide humanitarian assistance.”

Meanwhile, Pandor has again called on the international community to strengthen multilateralism.

Dr Pandor was hosting Shoukry as part of the tenth Session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation in Pretoria.

She has also raised concerns about the deteriorating situation in the Middle East.

“We don’t want to see an escalation of hostilities. The world doesn’t need it. What we need is peace. What we need is security and stability and we need to ensure that this terrible tragedy is brought to an end.”