In conjunction with growing Arab openness to Damascus, the end of 2021 witnessed a public Egyptian presence in the Syrian political arena, and there were recent indications of an initiative launched by Egypt to return Syria to its seat in the Arab League. The presence of Egypt on the Syrian political scene has made Cairo one of the doors knocked by the UN envoy to Syria, Geir Pedersen, to discuss the latest developments in the Syrian crisis. This development comes in conjunction with a new round of constitutional committee talks during, which Pedersen promoted a Steps-for-Steps proposal.
The Foreign Minister of Egypt, Sameh Shoukry, received a telephone call from Pedersen on Monday as part of the coordination and periodic consultation on developments in the Syrian file.
On Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said in a statement: “Shoukry stressed Egypt’s willingness to advance the political process in Syria and the need for a comprehensive settlement of the crisis to ensure that Syria extends its sovereignty over its entire national territory. This should preserve the independence of Syria’s political decision-making and put an end to the repercussions of the humanitarian crisis on the Syrian people.”
Pedersen briefed the Egyptian minister on the ongoing moves and contacts in an effort to advance the political settlement of the crisis in Syria.
This is not the first time Pedersen has discussed developments in Syria with the Egyptian foreign minister. The two sides had previously met in Cairo on October 14 to discuss the latest developments in the political process in Syria.
Egyptian analysts and experts stress the importance to Egypt of normalizing Egyptian-Syrian relations. The Egyptian intellectual Abdel Halim Qandil previously commented on this Egyptian-Syrian rapprochement by saying: “Syria is considered the strategic depth of Egypt, and contacts between Damascus and Cairo have not been interrupted since 2011.” Qandil added: “There are new factors in the Syrian issue, which are receiving clear Egyptian support for the restoration of Syria’s state and institutions.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.