European countries should recognize Palestinian state to end conflict: Foreign minister

Palestinian Authority is only legitimate authority that will be operating in Gaza, says Riyad al-Maliki at Antalya Diplomacy Forum

15:25 - 2/03/2024 Saturday
File photo
File photo

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki stressed on Saturday that the European countries should recognize the Palestinian state to reach a solution to the ongoing war.

“Such countries (European countries) have to take their initiative on their own and they have to start by recognizing the state of Palestine,” al-Maliki said during a press conference at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Türkiye.

He noted: “Ireland has to be in the forefront of doing so. The Irish people have been demanding this, the Irish parliament has adopted this and right now it depends on the Irish government to take that initiative.”

The Palestinian official also stressed that “the only legitimate authority that will operate and will continue operating in Gaza is the Palestinian Authority.”

“Netanyahu is not a citizen of Gaza and not an elected leader of the Palestinian people in Gaza in order (for him) to decide and to determine who will govern Gaza,” Maliki added.

He also called on the Muslim world and the international community to take a clear stance and thwart Israel's centuries-long efforts to change the situation.

The minister said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be visiting Ankara on Tuesday.

The visit is a “reflection of the excellent working relationship that exists between the two countries.”

“Türkiye has been sending humanitarian aid to Gaza which is appreciated,” the official added, commending Türkiye's “previous political position condemning atrocities, crimes, and genocide committed by Israel in Gaza.”

Israel has launched a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7, 2023 Hamas attack, which Tel Aviv said killed less than 1,200 people.

At least 30,320 Palestinians have since been killed and 71,533 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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