Gaza Contact Group continues to apply pressure on Israel: Turkish foreign minister

Hakan Fidan hosts panel discussion at Antalya Diplomacy Forum

10:24 - 2/03/2024 Saturday
File photo
File photo

Türkiye's Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on Friday said the Gaza Contact Group has been trying to apply pressure on Israel and the nations that back its attacks on the Gaza Strip, where more than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in five months.

“We are constantly trying to exert pressure on Israel and the countries supporting its brutal attacks," Fidan said in his opening remarks at the Gaza Contact Group panel discussion at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al Maliki and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry participated in the panel hosted by the Fidan.

Due to the group's efforts, he said, the support on securing a cease-fire and the need to increase humanitarian aid for people in the besieged enclave gradually increased.

He said the Islamic world has, for many years, expected others to solve its problems and only condemned this situation.

"Now we are taking this issue into our own hands. We are truly taking on this task with a regional responsibility. The Gaza Contact Group is actually the result of such thinking, assigned at the joint OIC-Arab League Summit to take responsibility for the ongoing war in Palestine, and is working on it,” Fidan said.

The contact group was established at a joint summit of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League in Saudi Arabia in November to stop the conflict in Gaza and help achieve lasting peace. It includes officials from Türkiye, Jordan, Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Palestine.

"Sometimes we (the Gaza Contact Group) worked collectively. Sometimes we worked with a division of labor. Among us, we addressed different issues by dividing the work," he said. “This group is actually an indication of the Muslim world's solidarity with Palestine."

- Current war not providing security for Israel

Fidan opposed the argument that the Israeli war on Gaza, which began after the Oct. 7 incursion by Palestinian group Hamas, provides security to Israel. "We try to express that this is not true. As the contact group, we have highlighted that Palestinians currently need security and self-defense more than anyone else," he said.

Fidan said international calls for a cease-fire and appeals for a two-state solution have no impact on Israel.

"If another country had committed such a crime, it would certainly face all kinds of sanctions," he said.

"Unfortunately, we cannot prevent bloodshed in Gaza alone because political systems are focused on staying blind; they do not want to open their eyes at all, or some countries have burdens from the past regarding Jews, and therefore, they cannot enter into this issue,” Fidan added.

"Going back to the 1967 borders is important. Only then will the Israeli people truly achieve sustainable security," the Turkish diplomat said.

#Antalya Diplomacy Forum
#Gaza Contact Group
#Hakan Fidan
2 months ago