Turkish foreign minister, along with Muslim delegation, to visit US to push for Gaza cease-fire

Hakan Fidan, accompanied by ministerial committee assigned by joint Arab-Islamic extraordinary summit, set to meet US Secretary of State Blinken

10:04 - 8/12/2023 vendredi
File Photo
File Photo

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, along with his counterparts assigned by the joint Arab-Islamic extraordinary summit, will visit the US on Friday to press for a Gaza cease-fire, according to Turkish diplomatic sources.

Fidan and the members of the Muslim group – formed to follow up the decisions taken at the extraordinary joint summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation - Arab League on Nov. 11 – will ask the US to intervene in declaring a full unconditional cease-fire so that Israel's attacks on Gaza will end, the sources said on condition of anonymity.

The ministers will meet with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and will also hold talks with think tank representatives and members of the press.

On Saturday, the delegation will meet with Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly in Ottawa.

The extraordinary joint summit mandated the foreign ministers of Türkiye, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, and Nigeria to take international action to stop the war in Gaza and achieve lasting peace.

The group has held meetings in Beijing, Moscow, London, Paris, Barcelona, and New York respectively for the last three weeks. Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit also took part in the meetings.

In its contacts so far, the delegation gave the message of starting a solution process – that will be carried out through UN parameters – for a permanent and fair peace after the cease-fire in Gaza.

They also called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, based on the 1967 borders.

The delegation emphasized that Israel cannot ensure the security of its citizens by shedding more blood and that Israel's security is only possible by making peace with Palestine.

Israel, it said, has clearly violated international law and that the silence of some countries in the face of this situation has shaken the trust in the international system and international law.

"All countries should distance themselves from Israel's lawless attitude and trampling on human values. Otherwise, they become accomplices to the crime," the delegation warned.

It also said that Israel's aggression increases the risk of regional and even global conflict, and pointed out that there is an increase in anti-Islamic and anti-Semitic actions.

Israel resumed its military offensive on the Gaza Strip on Dec. 1 after the end of a week-long humanitarian pause with the Palestinian group Hamas.

At least 17,177 Palestinians have been killed and more than 46,000 others injured in relentless air and ground attacks on the enclave since Oct. 7 following a cross-border attack by Hamas.

The Israeli death toll in the Hamas attack stood at 1,200, according to official figures.

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