Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri (R) receives Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide (L) in Cairo, March, 12, 2019 - Press photo
CAIRO - 13 March 2019: Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide said her country is taking steps to discuss the Middle East peace process, stressing the importance of the Egyptian role in this regard.
She added that Egypt plays a vital strategic role in the region, state's Al-Ahram reported.
This came at a joint press conference in Cairo with her Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukri on Tuesday. Søreide also met with Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
Søreide said that a number of regional issues were discussed between the two sides,most importantly Egypt's presidency of the African Union this year. She also underscored the importance of finding solutions to sensitive issues under the umbrella of the United Nations.
يحدث الأن... بدء جلسة مباحثات بين وزير الخارجية#سامح_شكريونظيرته النرويجية لبحث سبل تعزيز العلاقات الثنائية بين البلدين على كافة الأصعدة، ومناقشة القضايا الإقليمية والدولية ذات الاهتمام المشترك 🇳🇴 🇪🇬 @NorwayMFApic.twitter.com/xO4hNHXD33
The Norwegian minister affirmed her country's efforts to back the rights of the Palestinian people through supporting the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
She added that the settlements established by Israel inside the Palestinian territory are illegal.
For his part, the Egyptian foreign minister said that Egypt looks forward to strengthening cooperation with Norway, continuing communication with Norway at all levels, and jointly tackling challenges of the Middle East.
Egypt continues its efforts to unite the Palestinian people, Shoukri said, reiterating Egypt's support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
He also stressed that Fatah and Hamas need to build a sense of trust in order for the Cairo agreement to be implemented to subsequently restore the unity of the Palestinian people.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Søreide said her country and Egypt have the common goal of combating terrorism, affirming that Norway is still engaged in the fight against ISIS.
The Egyptian foreign minister affirmed that Norway participates in the United Nations Peacekeeping in Egypt's Sinai.
Shoukri said that Egypt calls for cooperation among the international community to eradicate terrorism. He also welcomed exchanging information to pursue terrorist groups in the region.
Also, Søreide referred that her country is monitoring Egypt's economic reform program, affirming that Norwegian companies pump huge investment in Egypt in renewable energy.