UAE stands firm in its call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza, says Sheikh Mohamed as he attends Egypt peace summit

Arab leaders, who were present at the conference, demanded renewed efforts to reach a Middle East peace settlement and end a decades-long cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians

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Published: Sat 21 Oct 2023, 12:36 PM

Last updated: Sun 22 Oct 2023, 10:21 PM

The UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Saturday reiterated the country's call for an immediate end to hostilities in the Gaza Strip as he joined world leaders at the Cairo Peace Summit.

Egypt hosted the international conference primarily to discuss the ongoing war between Israel and the Hamas group, which has now entered its second week.

"The UAE stands unwavering in its calls for the utmost protection of civilian lives, unimpeded access for humanitarian aid, and an immediate end to hostilities in the Gaza Strip," Sheikh Mohamed said in a post on the social media platform X.

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The President also called on the international community to work together "to avert further violence and wider instability".

"Dialogue, cooperation, and coexistence remain the only viable pathways to peace," he stressed.

The summit took place soon after Egypt's Rafah crossing opened, allowing humanitarian aid convoy to reach Gaza Strip.

UN chief Antonio Guterres, who was also present at the summit, urged a "humanitarian ceasefire" and called for global "action to end this godawful nightmare".

The brutal war has left thousands dead and displaced a million Palestinians, who Guterres said need "much more" than the 20 trucks that were entering the besieged territory of 2.4 million people.

The Palestinians need "a continuous delivery of aid to Gaza at the scale that is needed", he told regional leaders.

High time for peace deal

Arab leaders demanded renewed efforts to reach a Middle East peace settlement to end a decades-long cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

Jordan's King Abdullah urged an even-handed approach to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

"The Israeli leadership must realise once and for all that a state can never thrive if it is built on a foundation of injustice ... Our message to the Israelis should be that we want a future of peace and security for you and the Palestinians," he said.

Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas said Palestinians would not be displaced or driven off their land.

"We won't leave, we won't leave," he told the summit.

Israel has vowed to annihilate the Hamas group over an assault on southern Israel that killed 1,400 people on October 7. It has said it told Palestinians to move south within Gaza for their own safety.

The Cairo gathering is trying to find ways to head off a wider regional war, although the assembled Middle Eastern and European leaders are expected to struggle to agree on a common position on the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Three diplomats said it was unlikely there would be a joint statement from the gathering because of sensitivities around any calls for a ceasefire, and whether to include the mention of Hamas' attack and Israel's right to defend itself.

(With inputs from Reuters)


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