Leaders and representatives of around thirty countries discussed this Saturday a possible ‘road map’ to stop the war between Israel and Hamas, and tried to find mechanisms to be able to continuously provide humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. The meeting, sponsored by Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al Sisi, was attended by representatives of European and Arab governments, as well as the president of the European Council, Charles Michel; the high representative of the EU for foreign affairs, Joseph Borrell; and the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres. The summit was marked by the absent countries, key to reaching a ceasefire, a measure that many of the attending countries indicated as necessary. Israel did not attend the summit and neither did his main ally, USA. He was also absent Iranmain supporter of the Palestinian group Hamas, who are feared could intervene in the conflict and cause an escalation of violence in the region.
The difference in political positions regarding the conflict between Israel and Hamas and the condemnation of the actions of one side or the other stood out throughout the meeting, making it difficult to achieve a common proposal.
During his speech, the acting president, Pedro Sánchez, urged to achieve a “humanitarian ceasefire” like the one António Guterres proposed minutes before. “This ongoing spiral of violence cannot continue, it is time for the international community to act,” he said. “We must focus on what is urgent and what is important, we need to protect the civilian population,” added Sánchez, who currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council.
The acting president is one of the few European leaders who has not traveled to Jerusalem to show his support for the Israeli authorities. However, He did not hesitate to again condemn the “terrorist Hamas” attack and stressed “Israel’s right to defend itself.” Likewise, he also called for the needs of the Palestinian population and the protection of the civilian population in the region to be respected. He urged to protect the rights of “all civilians” and made reference to the 200 hostages that Hamas is holding captive, but also to the 2.3 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, who have been suffering from Israeli bombings for two weeks. After his intervention, Sánchez maintained a bilateral meeting with the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. “I have conveyed our support and solidarity with the suffering of the population in Gaza,” said Sánchez in a publication on the social network two-state solution,” he reiterated.
During the summit, Abbas called for the opening of humanitarian corridors and rejected pressure from Israel to transfer part of Gaza’s population to other territories. “We will not leave and we will remain in our land,” he declared. For their part, both the UN and the Italian prime minister, Giorgia Meloni; and its Greek counterpart, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, called for a ‘roadmap’ towards a two-state solution. Guterres, for his part, welcomed the sending of twenty trucks of humanitarian aid to Gaza, after days of negotiations between the United States, Israel, Egypt and the UN. Israel prevented the opening of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, but finally allowed the entry of an aid convoy this Saturday. “The people of Gaza need a commitment to much, much more: a continued delivery of aid to Gaza at the scale they need. We are working with all relevant parties to make this happen,” said the UN secretary general during the summit. . The head of diplomacy United Kingdom, James Cleverly, reiterated his support for Israel. “The UK is clear and has always been clear that Israel has the right to self-defence and the right to secure the release of those who were kidnapped on October 7,” she said.