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Regional forum achieves unanimous agreement on humanitarian principles, Gaza provisions – Safadi

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

Ayman Safadi

 

AMMAN  — Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on Monday that the eighth Regional Forum of Foreign Ministers of the Union for the Mediterranean achieved unanimous agreement opposing any additional loss of life, a shared commitment to uphold international humanitarian law and a consensus on the vital need to ensure sufficient provisions reach every part of Gaza.

Safadi made the remarks during a joint press conference at the conclusion of the forum alongside High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain Jose Manuel Albares and Secretary-General of the Union for the Mediterranean Nasser Kamel.

The forum took place in Barcelona under the joint presidency of Jordan and the European Union, hosted by Spain.

Safadi emphasised that Monday’s meeting was “extremely important,” during which participants agreed on key issues.

“[We all agreed] that there should be no more killing, we all agreed on the necessity of respecting international humanitarian law, we all agreed on the need for sufficient supplies to enter Gaza and the entirety of Gaza, both its south and north. We all agreed that population transfer is unacceptable, and displacement, a blatant violation of international law, is unacceptable,” Safadi said.

He noted that the participants also agreed that the 1.7 million Palestinians who were expelled from their homes, after they were destroyed, must be able to return to Gaza.

“Our position, along with that of Arab and Islamic countries, is that Gaza cannot be left alone, and there cannot be a security administration in Gaza because we have seen what the security administration has done in the past,” he underlined.

Safadi stated that the ongoing war in Gaza is just one manifestation of the terror that the occupation has inflicted on the Palestinians for decades, emphasising that this conflict did not begin on October 7. 

“We condemn the killing of civilians on that day, but the current situation is a result of the Israeli occupation, which has shown no signs of ending the systematic policies that undermine peace prospects and deprive the Palestinian people of their rights,” the minister underlined.

Safadi said that the Israeli government is one that calls for eliminating the Palestinian people, denying their humanity, culture and history and seeks to erase their right to exist, highlighting that “this is also terrorism.”

Safadi stressed that the only way for peace in the region is to treat the Palestinian people as equal humans, allowing them to obtain their rights so that Palestinians and Israelis can live in peace.

"We came today for a very open and frank conversation. We agreed and disagreed on some points. Some of our colleagues still refer to the killing of 15,000 Palestinians, the destruction of over 160,000 homes, the complete destruction of hospitals, and the deprivation of food, water, fuel, and medicine, as self-defence… this is not self-defence but a blatant aggression,” Safadi said.

He added that everyone wants peace; a just, permanent, and comprehensive peace, emphasising that the path to this peace lies in ending the occupation, based on a two-state solution that allows for the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state along the lines of June 4, 1967, with occupied Jerusalem as its capital, living in peace and security along Israel.

Safadi referred to the statement by Borrell, that this war is not a religious war and never was. Instead, it is a conflict rooted in the occupation of one state by another.

On the sidelines of the forum, Safadi met with the German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and the Cypriot Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos in separate meetings to discuss developments in Gaza and efforts to stop the war and ensure the protection of civilians.

Safadi also held a meeting with Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Dutch Foreign Minister Hanke Bruins Slot and discussed the developments in Gaza, and the efforts made to halt the war while ensuring the urgent and sufficient delivery of humanitarian aid to the region. Safadi reiterated Jordan's condemnation and rejection of the racist positions declared by the extremist MP Geert Wilders, in which he denied the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to freedom and statehood on their national soil.

Also on Monday, the Foreign Minister and members of the ministerial committee appointed by the Joint Arab-Islamic Summit met with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares. The meeting addressed the developments in Gaza and its surroundings, including the achievements of the humanitarian truce in releasing some prisoners and reuniting them with their families. Additionally, discussions covered the ongoing efforts to achieve a sustainable ceasefire, putting an end to the prolonged violence and conflict, and facilitating the opening of safe passages for the urgent delivery of relief aid to the Gaza Strip.

 

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