Cairo: President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi today said the Egyptian ceasefire initiative is a "real chance" to end the crisis in the beseiged Gaza Strip, where Israel and Hamas are locked in an intense fighting for the past 26 days.
"The Egyptian proposal is the real chance to find a solution to the crisis in Gaza and to end the bloodshed," Sisi told reporters during a news conference attended by visiting Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
"We proposed the ceasefire initiative before the Israeli military started a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip and the number of deaths was much more less than today. The initiative is the way to end violence in Gaza," said Sisi.
When the latest Gaza clashes erupted last month, Egypt - the traditional broker in such conflicts - put together a truce plan, which was immediately backed by Israel, Arab governments, the US and the UN, but brushed off by Hamas.
Hamas accused Egypt of co-ordinating with Israel and bypassing the Palestinian movement when offering the proposal.
Sisi insisted that the Egyptian proposal could be the basis to launch negotiations between Israel and Hamas.
"Time is decisive, we have to take advantage of it quickly to douse the fire in the (Gaza) Strip... And to stop the bloodshed of Palestinians."
Sisi said it is the third time that there is Palestinian bloodshed, referring to earlier conflicts in 2008 and 2012. Italian Prime Minister Renzi, who is in Cairo on a brief visit in a show of support for Egyptian truce plan, said Egypt`s role is important to restore stability in the region.
"Italy supports the Egyptian ceasefire initiative as it is the only way to solve the crisis." "The world`s efforts to confront terrorism won`t succeed without Egypt`s help especially the efforts to end violence in Libya," said Renzi. A three-day truce that began yesterday morning collapsed later amid the apparent capture of an Israeli soldier by Hamas.
Today`s conference is considered to be the first since Sisi assumed Presidency in early June. Sisi said Egypt is regaining its power and will have more steps in the political and economical and security fields to regain this power.
"I want to say to Egyptians that they have to trust that the future is better, and there will be stability, security and rule of law," he said.
Sisi also asked Europe to trust Egypt, saying "do not look at us with European eyes only, but look at us also with Egyptian eyes to be able to see the real situation in Egypt."