UAE calls for ceasefire, humanitarian access in Gaza at high-level meetings in Europe

The country is the largest bilateral humanitarian aid donor to Gaza but its relief efforts cannot compensate for the lack of access through border crossings, says top official


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Lana Nusseibeh — FIle photo
Lana Nusseibeh — FIle photo

Published: Thu 30 May 2024, 7:49 AM

Last updated: Thu 30 May 2024, 7:50 AM

The UAE reinforced its stance on the Gaza war as it joined high-level meetings of foreign ministers of the European Union (EU) in Brussels earlier this week.

Represented by Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Assistant Minister for Political Affairs and Envoy of the Foreign Minister to the EU, the UAE called for an immediate ceasefire, unhindered humanitarian access, unconditional release of hostages, and respect for international law.

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It also urged Israel to renew its commitment to the two-state solution and called for a reformed Palestinian Authority.

Discussions at the meetings — which also saw the participation of Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia — focused on the Middle East Peace Process and how to reinforce cooperation between the EU and Arab countries, with a view to finding a political solution to the conflict.

Monday's council session was part of a two-day set of high-level meetings focused on the war in Gaza.

Throughout the discussions in Brussels, Nusseibeh also shared details of the UAE aid operation.

"The UAE is the largest bilateral humanitarian aid donor to Gaza.  Since the start of the conflict, the UAE has delivered more than 32,000 tonnes of food, medical supplies, and other items essential to alleviating the suffering of the civilian population," she said.

She also provided an update on UAE efforts to provide medical treatment to victims of the war and provide access to drinking water.  She then briefed participants on the latest aid shipment through the maritime corridor from Cyprus, bringing the total of deliveries through that channel to 1,100 tonnes.  

'Lift restrictions on humanitarian access immediately'

Nusseibeh acknowledged, however, that such efforts cannot compensate for the lack of access through border crossings, and called for such restrictions to be lifted immediately, and for the screening of aid deliveries to be sped up drastically.

"One recurring message from my engagements here was the desire to further strengthen the coordination between the EU and Arab partners.  There is strong commitment on all sides to ensuring peace and security in our shared neighbourhood," Nusseibeh said, reflecting on her exchanges with senior officials over the two days in Brussels.

She also held several bilateral meetings, including with Tobias Lindner, Minister of State at the German Federal Foreign Office; Tor Wennesland, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process; and Robert Oliphant, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs at the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

She was accompanied by Mohamed Al Sahlawi, Ambassador of the UAE to the K Belgium, the European Union, and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and Abdulrahman Al Neyadi, Director of the European Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


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