YEMEN Press Agency

Egypt reacts to Biden’s statements about closing Rafah crossing

CAIRO, Feb. 09 (YPA) – Egypt responded to statements by US President Joe Biden, in which he claimed that Cairo had closed the Rafah crossing to humanitarian aid sent to the devastated Gaza Strip at the beginning of the war.

Biden said on Thursday that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi “initially did not want to open the crossing to allow humanitarian aid in. I spoke to him and persuaded him to open the crossing. I also spoke to Bibi (Benjamin Netanyahu) to open the gate from the Israeli side.”

However, the Egyptian Presidency emphasized that Egypt has opened the crossing from the get-go of the war in Gaza, allowing the passage of humanitarian aid without restrictions.

The statement reaffirmed the country’s commitment to facilitating the entry of aid into Gaza while blaming the Israeli earlier shellings of the Palestinian side of the crossing that made it inaccessible and unsafe for aid convoys.

During a press conference on Thursday, Biden claimed that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi “did not want to open the gate to humanitarian material to get in,” noting that he convinced El-Sisi to open the crossing.

However, the US president mistakenly referred to El-Sisi as “the president of Mexico,” raising concerns about the accuracy of his recollection.

“From the very beginning, Egypt has opened the Rafah crossing from its side without restrictions or conditions,” the Presidency affirmed.

The country also mobilized massive quantities of humanitarian aid from Egypt and other countries that dispatched its assistance to the El-Arish airport, the Presidency stated.

“Egypt has endured countless pressures and burdens in order to ensure a smooth flow of aid,” the statement read, added, noting that the country has, and still is, engaged with all stakeholders, regional, international and the UN, to pressure for aid access at scale and on a sustainable basis.

The statement also confirmed that 80 percent of the aid delivered to Gaza is provided by the Egyptian government.