Motaz Zahran is the Ambassador of Egypt to the United States. He formerly served as the Assistant Foreign Minister and Chief of Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. View more opinion on CNN.
(CNN)Egypt worked around the clock over the past two weeks to end the deadly fighting between our Palestinian and Israeli neighbors. Since the early hours of the conflict, Egyptian mediators led de-escalation talks with both Hamas and Israeli leadership. We supported humanitarian efforts on the ground, including by opening the Rafah border crossing for the provision of immediate medical care to the injured in Gaza. Ultimately, in close partnership with the United States and others, we were able to broker a ceasefire.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden called Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reiterated the vital role mutual coordination between the US and Egypt can have in the region. Egypt will spare no resource in bringing about peace in there, whenever violence erupts. This was true during the 2014 war, when we were instrumental in forging a truce. It was true during the conflict this May. And it will be true at any point in the future. JUST WATCHEDIsrael Hamas ceasefire: View from the West BankReplayMore Videos …MUST WATCH
Israel Hamas ceasefire: View from the West Bank 08:22However, we will also never accept the notion that this cycle of bloodshed is inevitable. That is why we refuse to let this issue recede in international priorities — as it has in the past — until the next crisis emerges and imposes. Read More Building a lasting solution must start now. Egypt is ready to do everything to help negotiate a lasting peace to the core conflict in the Middle East. We are calling on the US to work with us to restart that process immediately. Egypt’s historic role in planting the seeds of peace, our substantive contributions toward a Middle East peace plan, our proximity to the conflict, and the direct ramifications of belligerency to our nation, all make Egypt singularly positioned to help restart negotiations toward a two-state solution between Palestinians and Israelis –and with the full span of their rights upheld; prime amongst them is statehood to the Palestinians and security to the Israelis. But we need sustained international efforts. Working together, Egypt and the US can broker an honest and open dialogue with Israel on concrete steps it should take to work towards peace, such as refraining from taking any further steps detrimental to the wellbeing of the population and the status of the city of Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel since the 1967 War. JUST WATCHEDWatch celebrations in Gaza as Israel-Hamas ceasefire takes effectReplayMore Videos …MUST WATCH
Watch celebrations in Gaza as Israel-Hamas ceasefire takes effect 01:05In turn, Cairo and Washington must impress on Palestinians the need to work for peace. While having the militants lay down their arms for good might seem a long way off, stopping further attacks is essential to move forward. Those factions rejecting peace efforts and seeking instability, whatever their name or affiliation is, have to be contained, including by undermining their international network of support and finance. After all, armed attacks and military operations, whatever their cause is, never serve the path towards peace and only sets back the ultimate objective of a two state solution. We must work to uphold and enable the Palestinian National Authority. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, has a crucial role in furthering any future peace negotiations. His role as a national leader has been overshadowed by Hamas’ recent conflict with Israel, yet he has all the credentials and willingness to return to the table for serious and meaningful discussions. Elevating Abbas in the eyes of the world will bring him back into his historic role as chief negotiator for the Palestinian people; after all, no one on the Palestinian side has worked more on the vision of a two state solution than President Abbas. A strong and lasting peace in the Middle East may seem far off given the recent heightened tensions in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and Gaza, but that should still be the goal for the US, Egypt and, most importantly, Israelis and the Palestinians. We must continue to march forward toward peace, or we risk continuing to suffer with this vicious cycle of despair and bloodshed. Get our free weekly newsletter
Sign up for CNN Opinion’s new newsletter.
The continued partnership between Egypt and the United States in peace efforts is a crucial cornerstone to achieving peace in the Middle East. It is indeed no coincidence that the latest ceasefire was declared mere hours after President Biden called President Al-Sisi. When it comes to giving peace a chance in the Middle East, Washington and Cairo must continue to work together as peacemakers and arbiters.