OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON
OCTOBER 22, 2023
U.S. Embassy Cairo Chargé d’Affaires Ambassador Beth Jones attended the Cairo Peace Summit yesterday in Egypt on behalf of the United States. The summit gathered leaders from the international community to discuss the crisis in Israel and Gaza and coordinate urgent need for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people. Ambassador Jones expressed gratitude to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for Egypt’s role in hosting the summit and ongoing efforts for a peaceful, stable Middle East, condemned the horrific actions action by Hamas on October 7 against Israel, and outlined U.S. support for Palestinian aspirations.
Highlights from Ambassador Jones’ delivered remarks:
- On October 7 Hamas unleashed pure, unadulterated evil on Israel and civilians as well as the Palestinian people – whom they purport to represent – in a demonstration of moral depravity, exasperation, and political weakness.
- Palestinian civilians are not to blame and should not suffer for Hamas’ horrific terrorism. President Biden cautioned Israel not to become blinded by rage. Civilian lives must be protected, and assistance must urgently reach those in need. We will continue to work closely with our partners in the region to stress the importance of upholding the law of war, respect for international humanitarian law, supporting those who are trying to get people to safety or provide assistance, and facilitating access to food, water, medical care, and shelter.
- Palestinians are not Hamas, and Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people. To conflate the two only prolongs part of the misunderstanding at the very heart of this crisis. The United States remains committed to the Palestinian people’s right to dignity, to self-determination. We are still the world’s largest contributor of aid to the Palestinian people and remain committed to their aspirations for a two-state solution.
- President Biden and Secretary Blinken have unequivocally reaffirmed the United States’ support for a durable, lasting peace in the Middle East, built on the foundation of a two-state solution. We must keep pursuing a path so that Israel and the Palestinian people can both live safely, in security, in dignity, and in peace. Egypt is an indispensable partner in that endeavor.