Nov 21, 2023 06:48 UTC
  • China hosts Muslim-majority nations for ‘urgent’ action on Gaza

Diplomats from Arab and Muslim-majority nations have called for an immediate end to Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip as they meet at a summit hosted by the foreign minister of China.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi welcomed counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, the Palestinian National Authority, and Indonesia, as well as the head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (ICC) for a two-day visit on Monday.

The Chinese minister called on the delegates to "work together to quickly cool down the situation in Gaza."

The summit is the latest attempt by Beijing to put an end to Israel’s air and ground attacks against the besieged Palestinian territory, which have killed more than 13,000 people, including over 5,500 children, in six weeks.

Wang told the visiting diplomats that the world “must act urgently, taking effective measures to prevent this tragedy from spreading.”

"Let us work together to quickly cool down the situation in Gaza and restore peace in the Middle East as soon as possible.”

"A humanitarian disaster is unfolding in Gaza," Wang told the delegates, warning that the situation in Gaza “affects all countries around the world.”

He noted that grave violations committed by Israel against Palestinians are “questioning the human sense of right and wrong and humanity's bottom line.”

Visiting diplomats also voiced their own strong calls for an end to the war in Gaza.

“The message is clear: the war must stop immediately, we must move to a ceasefire immediately, and relief materials and aid must enter immediately,” said Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.

He said countries represented in the delegation hoped to cooperate with Beijing and “all countries” that are “responsible and appreciate the seriousness of the situation.”

Saudi Arabia held a joint Islamic-Arab summit in Riyadh this month, urging the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate "war crimes and crimes against humanity that Israel is committing" in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said in a message on X, "We look forward to a stronger role on the part of great powers such as China in order to stop the attacks against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. “

Shoukry said, “there are major countries that give cover to the current Israeli attacks.”

The Palestinian Authority's foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki said for his part that Israel is seeking to "bring to an end the Palestinian people's presence on what remains of its historical land."

Beijing has acted as a strong voice pushing for an immediate ceasefire at the United Nations, including the Security Council, since Israel waged its war on the Gaza Strip on October 7.

Last week the UN body passed its first resolution on Israel's war on Gaza, which called for extended humanitarian corridors throughout the enclave to protect civilians. The United States and the United Kingdom abstained.