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War in the Middle East: Hope for progress in ceasefire talks

War in the Middle East: Hope for progress in ceasefire talks

A “good group” – that’s how the President of the World Economic Forum describes the foreign ministers who want to negotiate the Gaza war again in Riyadh. Will the meeting provide a way out of the impasse? The News.

According to the President of the World Economic Forum (WEF), there is apparently movement again in the negotiations about the release of more hostages from the Gaza Strip and a possible ceasefire. “There is some movement in the talks about the hostages and for a possible way out of the impasse we find ourselves in,” said forum president Børge Brende in Riyadh.

Parallel to an economic forum on Sunday and Monday, talks are planned there, including between the foreign ministers of the USA, Great Britain, Germany and several Arab countries as well as with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Blinken is also expected in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan had assembled a “good group,” Brende told reporters. The “key players” would meet in Riyadh, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who would visit Riyadh on the way from China and before a return visit to Israel. Qatar’s Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, whose country, together with Egypt and the USA, is mediating between the Islamist Hamas and Israel, is also expected. Israel will not take part, said Brende.

The Open Forum, a WEF economic conference on, among other things, the environment, health and finance, will take place in Riyadh on Sunday and Monday. In addition to the political discussions parallel to the forum, many issues relating to Gaza need to be discussed. This includes the reconstruction of the coastal area, which was largely destroyed, which will cost “billions”. In addition, freedom of navigation in the Red Sea is still impaired due to the attacks from Yemen.

Baerbock will take part in discussions on Monday

The talks about the Gaza war, in which Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will also take part, are planned for Monday. Already on Saturday, Arab foreign ministers wanted to find a “united Arab position” in advance and also consulted with a representative of the Palestinian Authority – presumably Abbas. However, it was said that he would not take part in the ministerial meeting with Western countries. Egypt’s Foreign Minister Samih Shukri traveled to Riyadh today, according to Cairo airport circles.

The news site Axios reported, citing U.S. officials, that Blinken will arrive in Saudi Arabia on Sunday and is expected to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The US had held talks with Saudi Arabia about its possible normalization of relations with Israel, which were suspended after the start of the Gaza war. However, the Crown Prince continued to express his country’s “great interest” in it. According to reports, the kingdom hopes in return for security guarantees from the USA and help in setting up a civilian nuclear program.

Hamas says it has received a new proposal from Israel for a ceasefire in the Gaza war and the release of hostages. “Hamas will examine this proposal and provide a response,” wrote senior Hamas official Chalil Al-Hajaer in a message shared on Telegram on Saturday. Israel is putting Hamas under increasing time pressure in the indirect negotiations over a ceasefire and the release of Israeli hostages and, according to media reports, is threatening the announced ground offensive in the city of Rafah.

Decision on Nicaragua lawsuit on Tuesday

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will decide on Tuesday on an urgent application in Nicaragua’s lawsuit against Germany for complicity in the genocide in the Gaza Strip. This was announced by the highest UN court in The Hague. As interim measures, the Central American country called for an immediate stop to German arms deliveries to Israel and the resumption of payments of frozen contributions to the UN Palestinian relief agency UNRWA in the Gaza Strip.

Nicaragua accuses Germany of aiding and abetting genocide in the Gaza Strip by supplying weapons to Israel. Germany rejected the lawsuit as baseless. At the same time, the federal government had already announced this week that it would shortly continue its cooperation with UNRWA in the Gaza Strip.

Two dead after Israeli shelling in Lebanon

According to Lebanese sources, at least two people were killed in an Israeli drone attack in Lebanon. The Israeli military targeted a car in eastern Lebanon, state news agency NNA reported. The Israeli army said a high-ranking member of the Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya organization was killed. This small Sunni organization from Lebanon announced some time ago that it would support the Shiite Hezbollah militia’s fight against Israel. The group confirmed the deaths of two of its members in an Israeli attack.

The killed senior member of the organization had planned several terrorist attacks on Israel, the Israeli army said. Since the beginning of the Gaza war, Hezbollah from Lebanon has been firing rockets, artillery and anti-tank grenades into northern Israel – according to its own statements out of “solidarity” with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Israel responds with air strikes and artillery fire. So far, around 280 Shiite militia fighters have been killed in the fighting in the border area. There have also been several deaths on the Israeli side since then. Civilians also died on both sides.

Source: Stern

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