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Arab group at UN 'doubling efforts to secure Gaza ceasefire'

Arab group at UN 'doubling efforts to secure Gaza ceasefire'
3 min read
25 October, 2023
Arab League representatives at the UN Security Council held a press conference calling for an immediate ceasefire as the death toll in Gaza soars past 6,500.
Arab League foreign ministers met at the UN Security Council in New York [Getty]

Arab countries' representatives at the UN Security Council called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza in a press conference held on Tuesday.

The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates, along with the Secretary-General of the Arab League were in attendance. 

This press conference took place on the sidelines of an open session of the United Nations Security Council, convened for ministers to discuss Israel's war on Gaza that has so far killed more than 6,500 people in the enclave.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said there needed to be an immediate ceasefire, a lifting of the blockade on Gaza, and the delivery of humanitarian aid. 

He said that "Arab countries have delivered a unified message" regarding the war on Gaza during the press conference held alongside his counterparts from Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. 

"Since the crisis began, we have been in constant communication with all our international partners, including the United States," Bin Farhan told The New Arab’s sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed in response to a question about the concrete steps Arab countries are taking to halt the war on Gaza and allow aid to enter.

"Our message is clear: there must be an immediate ceasefire, the blockade must be lifted, and humanitarian aid must urgently be delivered. This message has been conveyed with a unified voice from the Arab countries." 

"We have engaged in intensive communication within this framework, and we are now seeing the beginning of aid entering Gaza. However, it is insufficient, and these quantities do not meet the required needs at all," he added.

"What is needed is the opening of pathways for food supplies without restrictions or conditions... the most essential and fundamental demand, in accordance with international humanitarian law, is the lifting of the blockade.

"Imposing a blockade on Gaza is a violation of international law and has no justification. Therefore, this is our primary demand, and we will continue to push in this direction."

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Jordan's Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, whose country is chairing the Arab group for this month, said: "Our stance is unified. We call for an immediate halt to this war, which will only result in more destruction and tragedies and will not lead to peace. It will not ensure the security of Israel or Palestine but rather poses further danger to the security of the entire region."

Egypt's Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry said the meeting of the United Nations Security Council came at a "critical juncture", and called for an "immediate and sustainable ceasefire to spare the region from the ravages of conflict."

"We find no justification for the global conscience to bear such a level of suffering, and the imperative to completely halt anything that contradicts international humanitarian law and human rights laws," Shoukry added.

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He also warned against double standards and emphasised the need to protect civilians while accurately describing the situation.

Shoukry emphasised the necessity of "completely rejecting war crimes and displacement and the importance of avoiding any attempt to settle the Palestinian issue at the expense of neighbouring countries."

He spoke about the Palestinian people's steadfastness in their land and their rights, stating that "they will not relinquish them, and Arab countries will not relinquish them either."