Arab FMs call for immediate cessation of Palestinian-Israeli conflict

Arab foreign ministers on Wednesday called for an immediate halt to the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict and the revival of the stalled Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

In the final communique of an Arab League (AL), an extraordinary meeting at the level of foreign ministers held in Cairo, the top Arab diplomats urged all parties to exercise self-restraint and warned of “the catastrophic humanitarian and security repercussions” of further escalation.

They emphasized the necessity of lifting the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip and immediately providing humanitarian aid, food, and fuel to Gazans.

The meeting was held on the fifth day of the deadly conflict that erupted between the Hamas militant group, which controls Gaza, and Israel. The conflict has left more than 2,000 people killed and thousands more injured on both sides.

The Arab foreign ministers condemned the killing of civilians on both sides, whether they were Palestinians or Israelis.

They also stressed the necessity of releasing relevant civilian hostages, detainees, and prisoners.

They said they will work with the international community for an urgent and active action to achieve de-escalation, according to the communique.

Participants of the meeting urged the Arab states and the rest of the interactional community to provide sufficient financial support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) at such a critical time.

“The way to guarantee security and stability in the region is to achieve just, permanent, and comprehensive peace that meets all the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people,” the Arab foreign ministers underlined.

AL Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said earlier during the opening session that the current crisis was created by the long-time “clogged political horizon” and the continuous construction of Israeli settlements, which limited the chances for peace through the internationally recognized two-state solution.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki emphasized the need to re-establish the political framework for resolving the conflict. He advocated for the revival of the peace process through a genuine political negotiation between the two sides, saying negotiation is the right way to attain security, stability, and prosperity in the region.

The extraordinary AL ministerial meeting was chaired by Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, who urged international parties “to sponsor real consultations to revive the peace process.”

He called on the international community to develop “a roadmap with practical goals, including a timetable” for serious and purposeful negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis to agree on a final formula for resolving the Palestinian issue.

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