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Egypt holds summit on de-escalating armed conflict in Gaza

Published : 22 Oct 2023, 01:32

Updated : 22 Oct 2023, 01:39

  DF News Desk

An international peace summit concluded Saturday at Egypt's new administrative capital east of Cairo, where heads of state and ministers from several countries urged for an end to the ongoing Israel-Hamas armed conflict in the Gaza Strip, reported Xinhua.

Dubbed the Cairo Summit for Peace, the conference kicked off on Saturday morning and was called by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to de-escalate the conflict in Gaza, pursue a ceasefire, and seek a resolution to the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict via a "two-state solution."

Egypt condemns the "terrorization of civilians" and expresses its astonishment at the world's response to a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Sisi said in his speech at the opening of the summit.

The Egyptian president rejected the displacement of Palestinians to Egyptian lands, affirming that liquidating the Palestinian issue without a just solution "will never happen and will not happen at Egypt's expense."

Sisi stressed that a comprehensive and just solution to the Palestinian issue on the basis of "the two-state solution" must be reached.

The summit is attended by some 30 Arab and Western leaders including the Palestinian president, the king of Jordan, the emir of Qatar, the president of the United Arab Emirates, the Italian prime minister, the Spanish prime minister, the Greek prime minister, and the Cypriot president.

The United Nations secretary-general, the president of the European Council, the high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the special envoy of the Chinese government on the Middle East issue are also attending.

Speaking at the summit, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stressed that peace and security can be achieved only by implementing the two-state solution and resolving the refugee issue based on United Nations Resolution 194.

He condemned Israel's "barbaric aggression" on the Gaza Strip, calling for an immediate halt to the aggression and the opening of humanitarian corridors to allow food, medicine, and other necessities into the besieged Gaza Strip, warning against attempts to displace the Palestinians of Gaza.

He called on the international community to assume its responsibilities to protect the Palestinian people and convene an international peace conference on the Middle East conflict.

Meanwhile, King Abdullah II of Jordan called for an immediate end to the war on Gaza, the protection of civilians, and the adoption of a unified position that indiscriminately condemns the targeting of all civilians.

The Jordanian King reaffirmed the unequivocal rejection of the forced displacement or internal displacement of the Palestinians.

"The only path to a safe and secure future for the people of the Middle East and the entire world starts with the belief that every human life is of equal value and it ends with two states, Palestine and Israel, sharing land and peace from the river to the sea," King Abdullah said.

For his part, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the grievances of the Palestinian people are legitimate and long.

"We cannot and must not ignore the wider context for these tragic events: the long-standing conflict and 56 years of occupation with no end in sight," he said, calling for implementing the two-state solution.

He welcomed the entry of a 20-truck convoy of the Egyptian Red Crescent into Gaza Saturday. However, Guterres said trucks loaded with aid waiting on the Egyptian side need to move as quickly as possible in a massive, sustained, and safe way from Egypt into Gaza.

Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said in his speech that the international community must work to reach an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and put an end to the Israeli bombing against the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

He added that the international community also needs to urgently open a safe corridor to deliver sustainable humanitarian aid to the population of Gaza.

Aboul-Gheit noted that the major international powers must urgently agree on a clear and specific horizon for a comprehensive political settlement that provides the Palestinian people with their independent state so that they can live in the peace and security they deserve like other peoples.

Britain's Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, meanwhile, said Britain is clear and has been consistently clear that Israel has the right to self-defense and the right to secure the release of those who were kidnapped on Oct. 7.

"And we are also clear that we must work and they must work to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza and that their actions are in accordance with international law," he said.

"I still believe in the power of diplomacy, and I still believe that we can work together to secure a future where Israelis and Palestinians live in peace," Cleverly added.

Addressing the Cairo Peace Summit, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said the Israel-Palestine conflict requires a new guarantee mechanism and it is necessary to guarantee steps taken by parties for just peace.

He said that if Israeli attacks were to continue, these attacks would threaten global stability and peace with geographical escalation.

Since Oct. 7, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and Israel have engaged in a bloody confrontation, leading to more than 5,000 deaths on both sides.