In a significant diplomatic move, ministers from Arab and Muslim nations are set to visit China on Monday to initiate a peace tour aimed at halting the ongoing war in Gaza, as announced by Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan. This visit to China marks the beginning of the efforts by the Islamic Ministerial Committee to implement the resolutions of the Arab-Islamic summit that took place in Riyadh earlier this month.
Prince Faisal, speaking at the IISS Manama Security summit in Bahrain, conveyed that the tour is a concerted effort to propagate a strong message for an immediate ceasefire and to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza. The delegation plans to continue their diplomatic engagement with several other capitals following their discussions in China.
The urgency of the situation was further emphasized in Prince Faisal’s dialogue with Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief. “Despite the agreement within the international community on the importance of peace, there is still not enough attention given to the need of an immediate ceasefire,” the Saudi minister remarked after their meeting.
Prince Faisal stressed the importance of concerted international efforts to address the crisis: “We hope at some point we can relaunch efforts towards permanent peace with the establishment of a Palestinian state that will ensure the security for all of us in the region, but the priority now is ending the fighting.”
He also reflected on the immediate needs on the ground: “We must work together to ensure that we end this fighting and civilian suffering we are seeing every day in Gaza.”
The ongoing conflict in Gaza has led to severe humanitarian consequences, with Israel’s intensive military campaign resulting in the loss of 12,300 lives and the displacement of over a million individuals. The ministerial tour represents a hopeful step towards de-escalation and the pursuit of lasting peace in the region.