HomeNewsWorld leaders make feverish attempts to secure ceasefire - World

World leaders make feverish attempts to secure ceasefire – World

• Putin warns on Gaza toll after phone conversations with Syrian, Egyptian and Iranian leaders
• Arab League chief demands end to Israeli aggression

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin entered the fevered diplomatic fray of the Middle East on Monday, speaking to five of the major players including Iran and leading Arab powers in an attempt to secure a ceasefire in the region.

The Kremlin said Putin had spoken to his Syrian, Egyptian and Iranian counterparts as well as Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas. Kremlin foreign policy aide said Putin also speak to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Kremlin statement said Put­in had voiced concern in his calls about “a catastrophic increase in the number of civilian victims and the aggravation of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza”.

All the leaders called for “an immediate ceasefire and the establishment of a humanitarian truce to provide urgent assistance to those in need,” it said. Putin said he was ready to “coordinate efforts with all constructive partners to put an end to hostilities and stabilise the situation as quickly as possible”. The Russian leader repeated his call for the creation of a sovereign Pales­tinian state as the only way for lasting peace.

Putin expressed “his sincere condolences to the families and friends of the deceased Israelis,” Kremlin said in a statement after Putin spoke to Netanyahu.

He also told the Israeli president of the steps Russia has taken to “promote the normalisation of the situation, prevent a further escalation of violence and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip.”

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday called for a ceasefire to halt the bloodshed in Israel, at a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. The two diplomats discussed the ongoing conflict ahead of a visit this week by Putin to China. “It is imperative that a ceasefire be put in place, that the two sides be brought back to the negotiating table, and that an emergency humanitarian channel be established to prevent a further humanitarian disaster”, Wang told Lavrov, according to a Chinese transcript of the meeting.

‘Time running out’

Iran on Monday said time was running short to reach a political solution in the conflict, warning of the “possibility of expanding the scope of war and conflict to other fronts”.

During his phone call with Putin, Raisi warned of a “possibility of expanding the scope of war and conflict to other fronts”. “If this happens, it will be more difficult to control the situation,” Raisi said, according to state news agency IRNA.

Raisi told his Russian counterpart that supporting the Palestinians was the cornerstone of Iran’s foreign policy, but the “resistance” groups make their own independent decisions.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, meanwhile, “stre­ssed that time is running out for political solutions” to the conflict, according to a post on X. He added that he told his counterparts in Pakistan, Malaysia and Tunisia that the “probable spread of war to other fronts is approaching an inevitable stage”.

During his call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Raisi said “minutes” would be “vital” in stopping “the brutal attacks” by Israel on Gaza, the IRNA reported.

‘Palestinian cause’

Leaders in Qatar and Kuwait received invitations on Monday for a summit in Cairo to be held on Saturday to “discuss developments and the future of the Palestinian cause and the peace process”.

State media in both countries reported the invitations a day after Cairo announced its intention to host “a regional and international summit on the future of the Palestinian cause”, during a visit by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Blinken — who on Monday returned to Israel after a tour of the region — discussed humanitarian aid in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a State Department spokesperson said.

The secretary discussed with Net­an­yahu the US close coordination with the UN and regional partners to facilitate the provision of humanitarian aid to civilians, department spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

The Arab League chief demanded on Monday an end to “military operations” in the Gaza Strip and charged that the siege of the enclave is “depriving the Palestinians of their humanity”. The Gulf Cooperation Council announced it would hold an extraordinary meeting of its foreign ministers on Tuesday, “to discuss developments in the situation in Gaza Strip”.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2023

Source: dawn.com

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