WASHINGTON: The foreign ministers of several Arab countries and Turkey, on a visit to the United States, on Friday called for an immediate cessation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip, urging Washington to support a UN resolution on a humanitarian ceasefire.
“Our message is we believe it is absolutely necessary to end the fighting immediately,” said Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, speaking on behalf of the group.
The UN Security Council was expected to vote, perhaps later Friday, on a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the fighting between Israel and Hamas.
The United States, which has the power to veto Council resolutions, has voiced its opposition.
Bin Farhan, who was in Washington as part of a visit of the Arab-Islamic Ministerial Committee, said he regretted that putting a stop to the bloodshed “doesn’t seem to be a priority for the international community.”
“The solution is a ceasefire,” said Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, while his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi called putting an end to the fighting the number one priority.
“If the UN Security Council fails to adopt the resolution that is simply calling for humanitarian pauses, that is giving Israel a license to continue its massacre against civilians in Gaza,” he said.
The delegation – made up of officials from Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Palestinian Authority – was to meet later Friday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
“I certainly would hope that our partners in the US will do more… we certainly believe they can do more,” the Saudi minister said.