UAE President Urges G20 To Work For Peace In Region


At the G20 Virtual Summit, President H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed stressed that the continuation of the current situation means more human tragedies and increased tension threatening regional and international peace and security…reports Asian Lite News

The Group of 20 (G20) bears a significant responsibility in working towards peace, stability, development, and coexistence in the region, UAE President H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan told the world leaders during a virtual summit of the group. UAE President attended the summit at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who chaired the event.

Sheikh Mohamed noted that the summit is taking place at a time when the Palestinian territories are experiencing a severe and escalating situation at all levels, necessitating serious and urgent international action to reach a ceasefire, provide protection to civilians in Gaza, and ensure the safe and sustained delivery of humanitarian aid without obstacles.

He stressed that the continuation of the current situation means more human tragedies and increased tension threatening regional and international peace and security. The President stated that the international community, particularly the G20, bears a significant responsibility in working towards peace, stability, development, and coexistence in the region.

In a statement issued on the virtual summit, President Sheikh Mohamed emphasised the G20’s significant focus on climate change in 2023, as reflected in the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration. This focus has included efforts to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030, advocating for low-cost climate financing for developing countries, and announcing a global biofuels alliance.

He underscored that these initiatives would bolster joint efforts at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) aimed at realising effective, substantial, and balanced outcomes in addressing the threat of climate change, particularly as the conference will witness the first stocktake of progress in implementing Paris Agreement commitments.

Sheikh Mohamed expressed his eagerness to welcome participants to COP28 UAE to continue cooperating in addressing climate change as one of the world’s most pressing challenges. He also expressed his appreciation for Narendra Modi’s initiative to convene the summit at this time, commending the Indian G20 Presidency’s year-long efforts to bolster international collective action on shared issues and challenges, including energy, climate, food security, sustainability, and global development.

Meanwhile, the UAE has welcomed the announcement of a humanitarian pause in the Gaza Strip, and the agreement to exchange detainees between the Palestinians and Israel, expressing hope this would lead to a permanent ceasefire.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) commended the efforts of the State of Qatar, the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the United States, which resulted in this agreement that stipulates a four-day ceasefire allowing for the exchange of detainees and prisoners, and the delivery of relief aid and humanitarian assistance. The Ministry expressed its aspirations for the agreement to expedite an end to the crisis and prevent further suffering for the brotherly Palestinian people.

Furthermore, the Ministry expressed its hope that this step will facilitate the immediate, safe, sustainable, and unhindered delivery of relief and humanitarian aid, particularly to the most vulnerable groups, including the sick, children, the elderly, and women.

The UAE stresses the importance of returning to negotiations to achieve the two-state solution with an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. The UAE will continue working alongside the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, to intensify efforts aimed at providing the needed support and assistance to the endeavours aiming to alleviate the humanitarian suffering in Gaza.

Truce and Hostage Release Delayed

In a major announcement, a top aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the highly anticipated release of the first group of 50 Israeli hostages held by Hamas as part of a hostage deal would not take place on Thursday, as previously announced, but only on Friday.

National Security Council chairman Tzachi Hanegbi circulated a statement that said the negotiations for the hostages “are constantly progressing” and “the release will begin according to the original agreement between the parties, and not before Friday,” Times of Israel reported.

Haaretz reported citing an Israeli source that the four-day lull in fighting, per the deal, would be on hold and that Israeli military operations in Gaza would continue as long as the agreement is not finalized.

The delay is a blow to families who are desperate to see their abducted children, spouses, daughters, and sisters return after close to 50 days as Hamas hostages.

The deal set to unfold, as detailed by Israel’s cabinet, would trade 50 living Israeli hostages — children, their mothers, and other women in groups of 12-13 people — for a four-day lull in fighting and the release of up to 150 Palestinian female and underage prisoners. It is a first since the ongoing war started after the October 7 attacks, Times of Israel reported.

On the same day, more than 240 were abducted to the Gaza Strip by the Hamas and other Palestinian factions.

If the deal is successfully completed, it would be the biggest diplomatic breakthrough since the war erupted last month.

According to the deal, if Hamas is able to locate additional hostages who are either minors or female non-combatants to release, the deal can be extended to up to 10 days, with one extra day’s pause in the fighting for every 10 hostages released. Three additional Palestinian prisoners would be released for each hostage freed.

Times of Israel reported citing Israeli estimates that Hamas holds a total of 98 women and children, 40 of whom are under the age of 19. At first, Hamas had more than 100 living women and children, but after the murders of Yehudit Weiss and Noa Marciano in captivity, that number dropped. In addition, the militant group released four women, and a fifth was liberated in Israeli military operation. (with inputs from ANI)

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