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Safadi calls for global effort to transform Gaza truce into permanent ceasefire, urges humanitarian aid

By JT - Nov 27,2023 - Last updated at Nov 27,2023

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Ayman Safadi speaking at the eighth regional forum of the Union for Mediterranean's (UfM) foreign ministers on Monday (Photo courtesy of Foreign Ministry)

AMMAN — The world must work to ensure that the current truce in Gaza, inevitably and immediately, becomes a permanent ceasefire, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Ayman Safadi said on Monday. 

Co-chairing the eighth regional forum of the Union for Mediterranean's (UfM) foreign ministers with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, Safadi said that the world must ensure that Gaza gets all the humanitarian supplies it desperately needs, and UN organisations are enabled to do their job without hindrance.

Israel must know it will not be allowed to force another population transfer out of Palestine, and that the 1.7 million Palestinians already displaced in occupied Gaza will return to their rebuilt homes, Safadi said in his speech.

He underlined that the two-state solution is the only path to this just and lasting peace.

“We must all pursue it, with determination, with vigor and with urgency... Middle East peace is a regional, European and global interest. Achieving it is in the interest of us all,” the minister underscored.

Safadi said that the eighth regional forum convenes as the world faces a catastrophe.

“Us being here is an extremely important message that we will continue to stop this catastrophe. Stop this war and put all our region on a path of a just and last and comprehensive peace that our one neighbourhood deserves and has been working for a long time,” Safadi noted.

He noted that the Union for Mediterranean was born out of a promise for peace, a just, comprehensive and lasting peace, that would have put decades of conflict behind that would have put the region on a path towards development, growth and opportunity for all.

“That promise was broken. Israel reneged on its commitments to peace. It did not implement Oslo. It acted against the land-for-peace formula, on which the Madrid Process was launched. It has denied the region the peace that the Barcelona process, which gave birth to our Union, sought to enhance,” Safadi noted.

He underscored that Israel has systematically worked to consolidate occupation, thus undermining the two-state solution. 

“And here we are. We convene at the 15th anniversary of the UfM at a time of war. Not a time of peace. This war on Gaza is unlawful. It is inhumane. It is devastating a whole society with killing, displacement and destruction of health, educational and all other basic infrastructure in Gaza,” the minister said.

He highlighted that this aggression must stop and that silence towards it must end.

“Weapons fueling this war must no longer flow. Political positions that Israel is exploiting to continue with the bloodbath must change. War crimes cannot and must not be normalised. Those responsible for them must be held accountable. Israel cannot be above the law,” Safadi said.

Th minister said in his speech that Middle East peace is a regional, European and global interest.

“Achieving it is in the interest of us all. Going forwards requires that we first: Work on ending this war immediately, meeting the urgent humanitarian needs of Gazans, and immediately preparing for the reconstruction of all of Gaza, its south and its north, with a view to starting this reconstruction in parallel with the launching of a time-lined plan to implement the two-state solution. There cannot be a Gaza alone approach,” Safadi said.

He noted that Europe has a crucial role to play.

“We are ready to work with our European partners to immediately start preparing for this plan, and designing mechanisms to implement it. The two-state solution cannot remain a talking point, while Israeli measures to undermine it continue unabated,” the minister stressed.

“We must commit, together, along with other partners, specially the United States, to end this conflict once for all, for the sake of the Palestinian people, and the sake of Israeli people,” he highlighted.

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