Egypt announced on Thursday that the Bashar al-Assad regime had agreed to its efforts to coordinate with the United Nations agencies working in Damascus to bring out wounded and elderly and deliver humanitarian aid to stricken areas in the city of Aleppo in the country’s north.
This came in a statement from Ahmed Abu Zeid, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman.
The statement added that, “This effort comes in the context of Egypt’s commitment to addressing the humanitarian situation in Aleppo and reducing the suffering of its people, and represents one of the elements of Egypt’s comprehensive vision to deal with the Syrian issue, which brings together urgent actions to lighten the human suffering of the Syrian people.”
It said that Cairo was also working to “try to reach a complete ceasefire in all areas of Syria, and likewise work toward the resumption of political negotiations to reach a political solution which realizes the legitimate ambitions of the Syrian people while simultaneously preserving the unity of Syria, its territorial integrity and its institutions, while avoiding the danger of turning it into a site for the work of terrorist organizations.”
The spokesman said that the Egyptian embassy in Damascus has obtained the agreement of the regime to Egypt’s efforts, adding that “preparations are underway for a visit by the Egyptian charge d’affaires in Damascus, Mohammed Sarwat Salem, to Aleppo to oversee the efforts to bring out wounded and elderly.”
These statements come two days after a visit by General Ali Mamlouk, head of the National Security Office (the intelligence) in the Assad regime to Cairo, during which he met his Egyptian counterpart, General Khaled Fawzy, in Cairo to “coordinate political positions between the two countries,” according to the regime news agency SANA.
The agency said that, “The official visit came at the request of the Egyptian side and lasted one day, during which Mamlouk met Fawzy and senior security officials.”
On Thursday, a statement from the regime army said that a unilateral ceasefire had gone into effect to permit the opposition to leave the besieged area of eastern Aleppo, in a step which the opposition said was part of a psychological campaign to push them to surrender.
Official media said that the regime had opened two exit routes in the Bustan al-Qasr area and near the Castello Road north of Aleppo, while official television broadcast clips of green buses waiting.
Intensified Russian and regime bombardment on the areas under opposition control in Aleppo has caused the destructions of dozens of hospitals, bakeries and water pumping stations within the framework of an escalation of attacks which have killed hundreds of civilians over the last few weeks.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.