CAIRO — The Cairo Peace Summit on the situation in Gaza ended without a final statement, at a time when Egypt issued an "angry" statement revealing disappointment at the lack of consensus to stop the aggression on Gaza.

Observers said the failure to bridge the wide differences among the summit participants thwarted Cairo's aspirations to achieve the goals sought by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi by holding the summit.

It seemed from the level of Western representation of the attendees of the summit that they do not pay much attention to it, according to observers, as it was attended by foreign ministers, while the United States only sent Chargé d'Affaires Ambassador Beth Jones. The speeches of the speakers during the summit echoed the stated views of the countries concerned, and compounded the disappointment in the possibility of reaching consensus.

Cairo was looking forward to "the summit participants will emanate from a global appeal stressing the importance of reassessing the international approach in dealing with the Palestinian issue, so that the current crisis is emerging from the womb with a new spirit and political will that paves the way for the launch of a real and serious peace process, leading in the near term and foreseeable to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the borders of June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital," according to a statement by the Egyptian presidency.

According to the presidential statement, the Cairo meeting was held with the participation of leaders, heads of government and envoys from several regional and international countries with the aim of consulting on efforts to contain the worsening crisis in the Gaza Strip, reduce military escalation since the outbreak of the conflict on the seventh of October, while ensuring the flow of humanitarian aid to those who deserve it in Gaza, and warning of the dangers of the expansion of the conflict.

Egyptian presidency angry at international disagreement at end of peace summit (Reuters)

Causes of incompatibility

Diplomatic sources who spoke to Al Jazeera Net on condition of anonymity, attributed the lack of a final statement from the summit to the rejection of Arab countries European pressure sought to include the statement a clear condemnation of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), and at the same time pay the right of Israel to defend itself.

Ambassador Hani Khallaf, former assistant foreign minister of Egypt, said that the lack of consensus among the countries participating in the Cairo peace summit was expected, in light of the divergent views of the various parties in dealing with the current crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Hani Khallaf added that "the disparity in representation between the participating delegations may be what prevented reaching a final statement," pointing out that Egypt was betting on the international presence to deliver a global appeal to stop the war on Gaza, which was partially achieved by the Italian Prime Minister, her Greek counterpart and the President of Cyprus going to Israel on the day of the summit to deliver the message of peace to it, this matter may contribute with other channels to stop the escalation quickly.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (left) speaks with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (centre) and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit (Reuters)

Papers in Egypt's hand

And about the papers owned by Egypt after the summit, said disagreement for Al Jazeera Net, "is the card of Egyptian-Israeli relations that can be invested to stop the rush of the Israeli army to invade Gaza by land, and accept the truce with the factions first, and then return to the track of negotiations to search for a settlement of the conflict."

The government official added that Egypt will work to soften the US position, convince Washington to return to the previous approach and use its weight to convince Benjamin Netanyahu to deal positively with the calm efforts, support Egyptian efforts for a ceasefire, allow aid to continue entering the Gaza Strip, and emphasize that the expansion of the conflict harms everyone.

One of the cards that Egypt will employ – according to Khalaf – is to try to build on the Arab position, which was unified during the summit, rejecting displacement and liquidating the Palestinian cause, and working to intensify all efforts to establish calm and protect civilians.

In turn, Gamal Salama, a professor of international relations at Suez Canal University, stressed that it is clear that the summit did not achieve what Egypt aspired to through the international mobilization, pointing out that Cairo's desire for an international bloc to stop the war in Gaza urgently was behind its haste to hold the summit without sufficient time to prepare well for it, and to ensure consensus on its final statement.

Salameh added that the summit's failure to agree on a final statement was expected, in light of the divergent international positions, as many Western countries fully adopt the Israeli narrative, which is difficult to dissuade from it.

Time bet

Salameh said, in an interview with Al Jazeera Net, that Cairo wanted during the summit to confirm its positions rejecting the liquidation of the Palestinian cause, in a strong message to Western powers that they have to move away from this scenario, which is one of the most important positives of this summit, which also reflected good positions for Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and some European parties, and Cairo may bet on time to find a gap in the wall of Western support for Israel.

Cairo has options that are "bitter", in the words of the professor of international relations, as the cards available to it are "military involvement in the event of the ground invasion of the Gaza Strip and the imposition of displacement on its people, or the suspension of the peace agreement, which are two very difficult options," which may hit the fragile stability in the region and cut off means of communication with the occupation.

The same spokesman added that Cairo's bet on Israel's desire for a quick end to the crisis remains uncertain, as despite the internal difficulties faced by the Israeli government, it prefers military escalation to escape accountability, and its extremist positions push it to reject any efforts to achieve calm, in a way that makes Egypt's task difficult.

On the other hand, Ahmed Fouad Anwar, a professor of Israeli studies at Alexandria University, expressed his belief that the summit achieved its goals before it was held, once it succeeded in mobilizing influential forces in the world to revive interest in the Palestinian cause, given that the matter is not limited to the Gaza Strip and Hamas only, as Cairo sought to make a breakthrough in the mobilization in support of Israel.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (right) speaks with Palestinian Authority president at peace summit in Cairo (Reuters)

The size of the post is a success guide

Fouad Anwar continued, in his interview with Al Jazeera Net, that the size of participation in the summit confirms despite everything that there is a degree of compatibility and common ground with everyone who attended, and with the Egyptian vision, as well as consensus in the decisive positions during the summit, especially between Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority in rejecting displacement, which contributes to the stability and steadfastness of the Palestinian people on their land in a way that prevents the displacement scheme permanently.

The same spokesman explained that Cairo was not satisfied with political positions rejecting displacement and liquidation of the issue, but also coincided with a practical measure represented in the overthrow and promise of Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant to prevent the entry of any aid to the Gaza Strip, and the threat to bomb aid convoys, which is considered support for the steadfastness of the Palestinians.

Fouad Anwar pointed to strong positions that appeared during the summit clearly in the words of Iraq and some Europeans, and can build on the outcomes of the summit and employ them to pressure the occupation to reach calm, stressing that Egypt has many cards to prevent the liquidation of the Palestinian cause.

The academic researcher considered that Egypt also has to build on the popular mobilization that rejects attacks and exploits international momentum in the face of pressure and blackmail from Western powers, and fortifies the Egyptian constants of rejecting liquidation and displacement, which constitutes support for the stability of the Palestinians and adherence to their land.