Muslim and Arab ministers call on China for support towards a ceasefire and aid to Gaza

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends a family photo session with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China November 20, 2023. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Pool

A group of Arab and Muslim ministers set out on a diplomatic mission, starting with a stop in Beijing, China, to address the ongoing situation in Gaza. The delegation, which includes members from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia, is working to establish an immediate ceasefire and make it easier to provide humanitarian aid to the struggling Palestinian enclave.

Meetings with representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council are on the delegation’s schedule in an effort to gain support for their goals from other countries. They also plan to refute Israel’s claim that its actions against the Palestinians are justified by its right to self-defence.

Saudi Arabia has been a major proponent of ending hostilities. To reaffirm this message, the de facto ruler of the kingdom, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, called a summit of Arab and Muslim leaders.

Egypt has also declared its support for the Palestinian cause. Sameh Shoukry, the foreign minister of Egypt, urged China to take a more proactive approach to stopping Israel’s assaults on Gaza.

However, Israel has stated that it is too soon to talk about a ceasefire and has expressed opposition to the delegation’s efforts. Rather than concentrating on securing the release of hostages captured by Hamas, Israeli Ambassador to Beijing Irit Ben-Abba urged the delegation to do so.

China, a close ally of Arab and Muslim nations, has promised support in easing Gaza’s humanitarian crisis and advancing a long-term solution to the Palestinian problem. Zhai Jun, China’s special envoy to the Middle East, has been actively pursuing diplomatic initiatives to secure a two-state solution and UN recognition for Palestine.

The delegation’s efforts are a significant step toward resolving the long-running conflict in Gaza and alleviating Palestinian suffering. Their success is dependent on their ability to bridge the gap between opposing parties and secure a path to peace that is mutually acceptable.

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