Without further ado, two meetings in Saudi Arabia on the Gaza war were merged into a special summit. Rarely have Arab and other Islamic states agreed as much as they do now: the violence must end.
In view of the ongoing escalation in the Gaza Strip, Arab and other Islamic states have called for an international peace conference.
The final declaration of the special summit in the Saudi capital Riyadh with high-ranking representatives said that such a conference must be held as quickly as possible in order to initiate a peace process “on the basis of international law and international decisions.” The states called for an immediate halt to “Israeli aggression.”
At the same time, international investigations into “war crimes and crimes against humanity” committed by Israel were called for. All countries should also stop exporting weapons and ammunition to the “occupation authorities” – which means Israel. A “double standard in the application of international law” was denounced. At the same time, the statement emphasized the need to release “all prisoners, detainees and civilians” without specifying which people were specifically meant.
Special summits are a rarity
Such a special summit is a rarity. An emergency meeting of the 22 member states of the Arab League was originally planned in Riyadh and a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Sunday. Following consultations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the OIC, it was decided to hold a special joint summit instead. The OIC includes 57 Muslim states.
A “just, lasting and comprehensive peace” is the only way to ensure stability and security for the entire region, the statement added. Regional peace can only be achieved if the “Palestinian question” is taken into account in the search for a solution. And not if the rights of the Palestinian people were ignored. The two-state solution must be implemented.
Any attempt to “forcibly relocate” Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, the West Bank or Jerusalem will be rejected, it said. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said at the start of the summit that anything aimed at “forcibly relocating Palestinians” to places “outside their country” must be stopped. Out of concern about a mass exodus, Egypt and Jordan in particular are refusing to accept refugees from the Gaza Strip. This also has to do with the fear that this could ultimately lead to permanent displacement.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was among the invited guests. A novelty because it was his first visit to the kingdom since the resumption of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. In his speech, Raisi called on the Islamic states, among other things, to break off their political and economic relations with Israel.
Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad also spoke at the summit. He called for action in the Gaza war. “If we don’t have real leverage, all our moves and speeches are meaningless,” he said. He called for Arab unity to counter what he described as “Zionist cruelty and massacres.” Assad himself had the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus attacked and bombed as part of the civil war in Syria that has been going on since 2011. It was one of his first appearances at an international summit since the civil war broke out in his country.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.