NEW YORK: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has called for collective efforts to end the human tragedy in Palestine and avert threats to regional peace.
Speaking at dinner hosted by him at the Pakistan Embassy in New York in the honour of the foreign ministers who have arrived there to participate in UN General Assembly’s emergency session on the situation in Palestine, Shah Mahmood Qureshi highlighted atrocities being committed by Israeli forces, the miseries of Palestinian people and threats to regional peace, and diplomatic efforts made by Pakistan in this regard.
The Pakistani minister, who has been tasked by Prime Minister Imran Khan to highlight the crisis in Palestine, also held detailed consultation with the participating FMs on adopting a joint strategy to draw the world community’s attention towards the grave human rights violations.
The foreign ministers of Turkey, Tunis, Palestine, President UNGA Volkan Bozkir and permanent representatives of the OIC member countries attended the reception.
FM Qureshi, during his stay in New York, will also meet media representatives and brief them on Pakistan’s stance on local and international matters.
UNGA session on Palestine
The UN General Assembly is holding an urgent meeting to discuss the “grave deterioration” of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, a spokesperson of the 193-member body’s president announced Monday.
Spokesman Brenden Varma said that the session on Thursday, May 20, is in response to a request from the chairmen of the OIC Group and the Arab Group at the UN made in a joint letter to the Assembly president, Volkan Bozkir of Turkey.
The letter was signed by Niger’s Ambassador Abdou Abarry, who is chairman of the OIC Group, and Algeria’s Ambassador Sofiane Mimouni, who heads the Arab Group.
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Responding to questions, the spokesperson said the plenary meeting will debate the situation in the Middle East, but so far no resolution has been submitted.
The general assembly meeting follows the failure of the UN Security Council to call for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which rules Gaza.
So far, four Security Council meetings have taken place, with no concrete outcome after the United States blocked a joint statement calling for de-escalation of hostilities in the region.
The council meeting on Sunday came after the US reportedly blocked resolutions that would have deplored Israel’s military response and called for a ceasefire.
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Nearly 250 people have been killed in the intense bombing of the besieged enclave of two million people.
Israel has justified its bombing campaign as a retaliation to rocket attacks by Hamas fighters. But the Hamas movement said its actions were a response to the Israeli policy of forced displacement of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli forces last week.
Israel had missed a Hamas deadline to withdraw its forces from the mosque compound.
The latest round of inaction also comes as US President Joe Biden has given no signs of plans to step up public pressure on Israel, instead repeatedly stressing Israel’s right to defend itself.