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Aboul Gheit receives Jean François-Poncet Former French Foreign Minister


24 February 2009…

Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry stated that Foreign Minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit received on  February 24th, Jean François-Poncet, Former French Foreign Minister and current Vice-President for Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the French Senate, who is currently on a visit to Cairo. The visit came within the framework of President Nicolas Sarkozy's assignment to evaluate the situation in the Middle East.

The Spokesman added that the French MP was keen to meet with Egyptian Foreign Minister to get acquainted with Egypt's views on the regional situation, especially after the latest Gaza events, and the Egyptian efforts to achieve a truce between Israel and Hamas, in addition to the inter-Palestinian reconciliation, where he affirmed France's full support to Egypt in all these efforts.

Aboul Gheit, on his part, elaborated the latest development of Egyptian efforts regarding the truce and the reconciliation, as well as the strategic Egyptian aims to be achieved during the reconstruction conference in Sharm El Sheikh. Aboul Gheit also elaborated Egypt's stance on linking the truce with the release of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in particular, and the issue of prisoners in general. Aboul Gheit highlighted Egypt's efforts to set the proper atmosphere for all the Palestinian factions to resume dialogue and to reach a truce between Israel and Hamas.

Spokesman said that Aboul Gheit hailed the French stances, supporting the Egyptian role and attempting to achieve stability in the region, during the latest war on Gaza. He outlined the significance of President Sarkozy's participation in the Gaza Reconstruction Conference, which support Egypt's efforts in the issue.