RIYADH — Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan stressed the necessity of an immediate ceasefire in the besieged Gaza Strip, and expanding the access of aid into the densely populated Palestinian coastal enclave. While emphasizing that Gaza is suffering from a stifling humanitarian catastrophe, Prince Faisal urged the international community to bear responsibility to stop Israel’s attacks.

The foreign minister made the remarks while attending the meeting of the members of the Islamic Ministerial Committee with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, at the Guest Palace in Beijing on Monday. The committee, which was constituted by the Arab-Islamic Summit held in Riyadh recently, is headed by Prince Faisal bin Farhan.

Members of the committee participated in the Bejing meeting included Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Jordan Ayman Safadi, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad al-Maliki, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, and Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha.

At the outset of the meeting, Chinese foreign minister welcomed the committee members, stressing Beijing’s support for the call issued by the Riyadh Summit for a two-state solution, in accordance with the relevant international resolutions. He also called on the international community to take action to end the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip. “Let us work together to quickly calm the situation in Gaza and restore peace in the Middle East as soon as possible.”

Wang noted that there is a humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Gaza. “The situation in Gaza affects all countries around the world and reconsiders the principle of good and evil and the basic principles of humanity.” He stressed that the international community must act urgently and take effective measures to prevent the spread of this tragedy,” Wang said while adding, “China is a friend and brother of the Arab and Islamic countries.”

Wang noted that China has always firmly defended the legitimate rights and interests of Arab and Islamic countries, and always strongly supported the efforts of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights and interests.”

For their part, members of the Ministerial Committee stressed the importance of immediately stopping the military escalation and forced displacement of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, and quickly introducing the necessary humanitarian aid to avoid the spread of the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip.

They pointed out the importance of avoiding further killing of civilians, calling for the international community to take effective action to deal with the crisis and address all the ongoing violations by the Israeli occupation forces and their repeated violations of international law and international humanitarian law.

The ministers expressed their complete rejection of the war waged by the Israeli occupation authorities against the concept of the two-state solution, self-determination, freedom and independence, and even against the Palestinian presence on the land of the State of Palestine. They noted that the Israeli occupation forces have committed all forms and types of crimes against the Palestinian people, the latest of which is the disconnection of water and electricity services, and preventing freedom of movement and decent living.

The members of the committee stressed the importance of the international community fulfilling its responsibility, especially the permanent members of the Security Council, to move towards stopping the blatant violations committed by the Israeli occupation authorities, and stopping violations of all international laws and norms and international humanitarian law, and their provocative practices that would obstruct the path of peace and threaten security and international peace.

On his part, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry considered that there was a declared policy to displace Palestinians from Gaza, but the strong Egyptian and Arab position rejecting displacement was a red line. He stressed that the displacement of Palestinians would threaten peace, security and stability in the region and the world.

He also pointed out that Israel’s policy of obstructing the entry of aid into Gaza is systematic, and aims to push the Palestinians to leave the Gaza Strip by resorting to heavy bombardment and siege. He stressed that there is a responsibility on the Security Council to protect international legitimacy. “We look forward to a stronger role from great powers like China to stop attacks against the Palestinians. The grave violations and war crimes committed by Israel are not called by some by their real names,” he said while noting that there are major countries that give cover to the current Israeli attacks.

For his part, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Palestine Riyad Al-Maliki, said: “We came to Beijing to discuss the brutal crimes committed by the Israelis against the Palestinian people.” He stressed that Israel calls for the liquidation of Palestinians and deprivation of their rights, which violates the two-state solution.

The ministerial committee arrived earlier on Monday in Beijing in order to formulate an international action to halt the war in Gaza and push for a genuine and serious political process, leading to permanent and comprehensive peace in accordance with established international resolutions.

The committee’s tour also aims to take deterrent measures to stop the crimes of the colonial occupation authorities, and hold them accountable for their crimes in Gaza, Jerusalem, and the West Bank. The committee also seeks to work to secure urgent relief corridors, launch a serious political process, and push for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

The extraordinary joint Arab-Islamic Summit, held in Riyadh on Nov. 11, issued a resolution that tasked the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Turkey, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Palestine to initiate immediate international action on behalf of all member states of the OIC and the Arab League.

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