Thursday May 23, 2024

G7 FMs call for humanitarian pauses in Israel-Hamas conflict

Published : 09 Nov 2023, 00:46

  DF News Desk
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna and Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani pose for a family photo during the G7 Foreign Ministers meeting in Tokyo. Photo: Sina Schuldt/dpa.

Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) on Wednesday called for actions to address the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip over the Israel-Hamas conflict, reported Xinhua.

As the conflict topped the agenda of a two-day meeting of the foreign ministers in Tokyo, they released a joint statement after the talks that they support humanitarian pauses and corridors to facilitate urgently needed assistance, civilian movement and release of hostages.

"We underscore that a two-state solution, which envisions Israel and a viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition, remains the only path to a just, lasting and secure peace," the statement said.

It also called for humanitarian support for civilians, including food, water, medical care, fuel, shelter and access for humanitarian workers.

More than 100 Japanese citizens protested in central Tokyo before the meeting started on Tuesday, condemning the bloc for escalating the crisis in the Gaza Strip and demanding its immediate actions to end deadly Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip.

"If the G7 unites in support of U.S. policies toward Israel, they would become complicit in this war," a demonstrator told Xinhua.

Meanwhile, Jörg Blank and Lars Nicolaysen of dpa reported that G7 foreign ministers reaffirmed their support for Ukraine and welcomed China's participation in peace efforts but warned Beijing not to support Russia in its war against Ukraine.

In a statement released at its meeting in Tokyo, the group of industrialized nations blasted Russia for its "brutal war of aggression" and said reaffirmed "our unwavering support for Ukraine for as long as it takes to bring a comprehensive, just and lasting peace."

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock warned: "If we lose our breath now in our support for Ukraine, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin will exploit this mercilessly - with terrible consequences for the people of Ukraine and Europe."

They are stepping up efforts to help Ukraine with its winter preparations. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba joined the G7 discussions on Ukraine via video at times.

The group, while welcoming China's participation in the peace efforts led by Ukraine, said China - which is not part of the G7 - should urge Russia to end its aggression and support a just and lasting peace.

The G7 ministers also discussed the situation in the Indo-Pacific. While not directly mentioning the island of Taiwan, which China claims as its own, Baerbock said that since Russia's attack on Ukraine, "we have painfully learnt how aggressive rhetoric or fantasy maps can turn into dangerous reality."

She emphasized international cooperation to prevent another war.

"We must work together today to ensure that no new theatres of war emerge, the shock waves of which would shake us all."

Britain, the United States, France, Italy, Japan, Canada and Germany make up the G7 group of Western industrialized nations. Japan currently holds the presidency.