Riyadh will host leaders of Iran, Turkey, Syria and other countries to discuss the war between Israel and Gaza.
Saudi Arabia is hosting an extraordinary summit on Saturday, bringing together countries from the Islamic and Arab world to discuss the worsening situation in Gaza.
The kingdom’s foreign ministry announced the news late Friday, saying Saudi Arabia was initially scheduled to host two summits, one of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the other of the Arab League, on Saturday . The joint summit emerged as a replacement after Saudi Arabia consulted members of the two major organizations.
According to the ministry, the joint meeting “will be held in response to the exceptional circumstances unfolding in the Palestinian Gaza Strip, as countries feel the need to unify their efforts and adopt a unified collective position.”
The OIC includes member states from across the Islamic world, including Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, neighbors of the Palestinian territories.
As Iran repeatedly warns that the scope of the war will expand if Israel does not stop its attacks, President Ebrahim Raisi is also expected to attend the meeting in Riyadh, marking the first visit by an Iranian president in 11 years.
“Gaza is not an arena for words. It should be for action,” Raisi said before leaving for Riyadh on Saturday, adding that the Palestinian issue has become the main issue not only for the Muslim world but for the whole world.
“The atrocities currently being committed by the Zionist regime in Gaza are clear examples of war crimes and crimes against humanity,” he said.
“The Americans say in their remarks and messages that they do not want the war to expand, but this statement in no way corresponds to their actions since the fuel for the Israeli war machine is supplied by the Americans. »
Holding Israel “accountable”
Israel has not stopped its attacks on the Gaza Strip despite growing calls for an immediate ceasefire, particularly from the Arab and Islamic worlds.
The relentless air and ground strikes – which followed the October 7 Hamas attack that killed 1,200 Israelis – have killed at least 11,000 Palestinians, most of them civilians.
Israel has significantly stepped up its attacks on hospitals in recent days, and the United Nations has said the lives of a million children in Gaza are “hanging by a thread.”
The Arab League is made up of 22 countries, including Syria, which was accepted earlier this year after Arab leaders resumed negotiations with President Bashar al-Assad following a decade of civil war in the country.
The bloc’s deputy secretary general, Hossam Zaki, said this week that the organization aims to demonstrate “how Arabs will act on the international stage to end aggression, support Palestine and its people, condemn Israeli occupation and hold it accountable for its actions.” crimes.”
This extraordinary joint summit comes against a backdrop of intense diplomatic activity in the region and beyond. Saudi Arabia hosted an Afro-Saudi summit in Riyadh on Friday, during which Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called for an end to the war.
The leaders of Russia, Iran, Turkey and Pakistan met Thursday in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, for discussions including the situation in Gaza.