Tehran/Riyadh: Time for issuing statements is over and Gaza now requires actions, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said Saturday as he left to attend the Arab-Islamic Summit to be held later today in Riyadh.
“Gaza is not an arena for words any more. It should be for action,” Raisi said at Tehran airport before departing for the joint Summit of 22-member Arab League and 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Saturday November 11, 2023.
“Today, the unity of the Islamic countries is very important,” he added.
Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Saudi Arabia is first by any Iranian President in 11 years and about eight months after the two countries resumed diplomatic ties following China-brokered peace deal.
“The atrocities that are now being committed by the Zionist regime in Gaza are clear examples of war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Raisi said.
“The Americans say in their remarks and messages that they do not want the scope of the war to expand, but this claim in no way corresponds to their actions as the fuel for the Israeli war machine is provided by the Americans.”
Saudi Arabia had earlier announced to host two separate meetings to discuss the grave humanitarian situation in Gaza, West Bank and other Occupied Palestinian territories resulted after the relentless bombings and raids since last 35 days by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF).
The Kingdom however merged the two meetings after discussions with the members of the two representative organisations.
"Due to the exceptional circumstances in Gaza, the Kingdom has decided to convene an extraordinary Arab-Islamic Summit in Riyadh on Saturday, November 11, 2023. This replaces the previously planned emergency Arab Summit and extraordinary Islamic Summit scheduled for the same date", the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Friday while addressing the Saudi-Arab African Economic Summit reiterated the Kingdom’s “condemnation of the Israeli occupation authorities’ violation of international humanitarian law in Gaza.”
"We stress the necessity of stopping this war and forced displacement, and creating the conditions for the return of stability and peace", he said in his opening remarks at the Saudi-Arab African Economic Summit.
Israel is conducting a massive military operation into the occupied territory after Hamas Operation al Aqsa Flood launched on Oct 7, 2023. According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, 11,000 people have been killed - over 70 per cent of them women and children, since the war began, and 27,000 have been injured.
More than 150 Palestinians have also been killed in Israeli raids in the Occupied West Bank.
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