Dhaka,  Monday
24 June 2024

Macron discusses Gaza war with Arab ministers

Messenger Desk 

Published: 11:18, 25 May 2024

Macron discusses Gaza war with Arab ministers

French President Emmanuel Macron. Photo: Collected 

France's president, Qatar's prime minister and the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan held talks Friday on the Gaza war and ways to set up a Palestinian state alongside Israel, the French presidency said.

French President Emmanuel Macron organised the meeting amid growing international concerns over the Israel-Hamas war. It came a few hours after the UN's top court ordered Israel to halt its offensive in the Gaza city of Rafah.

Efforts to revive a "two-state" solution to the wider Middle East conflict and humanitarian efforts for Gaza dominated the talks.

The officials discussed "all the levers that could be activated in order to obtain the reopening of all crossing points" into Gaza, said an Elysee palace statement.

The five countries also discussed how to "increase and deepen their cooperation" and "the effective implementation of the two-state solution, the only effective way to guarantee the peace and security of the state of Israel and to respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians," the statement added.

Macron and France's Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne were joined at the meeting by Qatar's Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani and foreign ministers Sameh Shoukry of Egypt, Ayman Safadi of Jordan and Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, the Elysee said.

The French leader reaffirmed his opposition to Israel's offensive in the Gaza city of Rafah and new settlements in the occupied West Bank. He also called for an "immediate" ceasefire with the release of "all hostages" in Gaza.

US Central Intelligence Agency chief William Burns was expected in Paris for reported talks with Israel on a potential ceasefire. Qatar and Egypt have been intermediaries between Israel and Hamas in past efforts to establish a ceasefire.

The Gaza war broke out after Hamas's October 7 attack resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 35,800 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry.