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Egyptian, Brazilian leaders call for ceasefire in Gaza

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CAIRO(Agency): Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday held talks with visiting Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Cairo, where they discussed upgrading bilateral relations as well as the ongoing Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.

“During the talks, we agreed to develop the relations in various political, economic, cultural, industrial, and agricultural fields,” Sisi told a joint press conference with the Brazilian leader, whose visit coincides with the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Brazil and Egypt.

“We also agreed on the importance of reaching a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, releasing the hostages and prisoners, and delivering as much aid to the strip as possible to protect the lives of civilians,” said the Egyptian president.

The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza has been a major lifeline to provide the enclave with relief supplies since Israel launched its massive military offensive on Gaza in October last year.

Lula praised Egypt’s role in facilitating the safe evacuation and departure of about 2,000 Brazilian citizens from besieged Gaza via the Rafah crossing.

The two leaders also expressed their support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state to put an end to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Lula said that during his talks with his Egyptian counterpart, they discussed upgrading ties between the two countries to the level of “strategic partnership,” and boosting their trade exchange which is currently worth about 2 billion U.S. dollars annually.

Commenting on Egypt’s new membership in the BRICS bloc in which Brazil was one of its founding members, Lula said they will work on “reforming international governance and building peace” in the framework of BRICS, and urged for a multilateral world with fair development opportunities for developing states.

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