1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Germany's Baerbock in Egypt for Gaza crisis talks

March 25, 2024

The German foreign minister has arrived in Egypt for further negotiations seeking to ease the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock meets with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (not seen)
Baerbock said only an immediate humanitarian cease-fire could keep the hope for peace aliveImage: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/REUTERS

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Cairo on Monday for talks on the increasingly fraught humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

Baerbock has urged both Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas to make concessions in ongoing negotiations in Qatar.

After Cairo, Baerbock was scheduled to fly on to Israel for her sixth visit to the country since the Hamas-led October 7 terror attacks. A meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz has been scheduled for Tuesday.

Germany's foreign minister in Egypt for Gaza talks

What Baerbock said ahead of the trip

"Only an immediate humanitarian cease-fire that leads to a permanent cease-fire will keep the hope for peace alive — for Palestinians and Israelis alike," said Baerbock on Sunday  ahead of the visit.

Germany's top diplomat has also warned against Israel's planned military offensive into Rafah, the southernmost city in Gaza.

The UN has said some 1.5 million people are currently sheltering from Israeli bombing and ground operations in other parts of the Palestinian territory.

Baerbock raised doubts about Israeli forces being capable of attacking militants in the city without devastating consequences for civilians there.

The population in Rafah "cannot simply vanish into thin air," the minister said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the military will move forward with the assault in Rafah, despite widespread concerns.

Some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the October 7 attacks on southern Israel after Hamas and other groups spilled across the border from Gaza. Israel has vowed to destroy the militants, who also took some 250 hostages.

More than 32,000 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched its offensive against Hamas, according to figures from the Hamas-run territory's Health Ministry.

Meanwhile, a UN-backed food security assessment has warned that famine is projected to hit the north of Gaza by May. 

Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel, among other governments.

rc/wmr (dpa, Reuters)