'Contact with various countries being established to stop Israeli persecution of Palestinians'

It will be lamentable if the international community remained silent on the Palestinian situation, adds FM Qureshi


News Desk May 18, 2021
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is seen, ahead of an agreement signing between members of Afghanistan's Taliban delegation and US officials in Doha, Qatar February 29, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Tuesday that contacts were being established with different countries to stop the Israeli persecution of Palestinians.

The foreign minister left Islamabad for New York on Monday night to attend the emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the issue of the latest Israeli assaults on Palestine. He will travel to the US via Ankara.

The 193-member UN General Assembly plans to meet on Thursday over the violence, General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir said.

Niger and Algeria, chairs of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation group and Arab group in New York, asked the 193-member General Assembly meet publicly "in light of the gravity of the situation and its rapid deterioration".

"The Muslims residing in European countries must also play their role in this regard," the foreign minister said.

Qureshi lamented that the bombardment in Palestine has resulted in a power outage and affected the supplies of essential commodities.

"It will be lamentable if the international community remained silent on the Palestinian situation," he added.

The foreign minister said Ithat Israel was further complicating the matter and its bombardment was making it impossible for the Palestinians to access healthcare facilities.

"Hurdles are being created so that the Palestinian foreign minister could not attend the UN General Assembly session," Qureshi said and added that "we will wait for the Palestinian foreign minister and want him to accompany us for the session."

Qureshi is undertaking the UN visit on the special instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan to draw the attention of the international community to the deteriorating situation in Palestine. In New York, he will hold important meetings with various dignitaries at the UN.

At the General Assembly Qureshi will raise his voice against the oppression of the Palestinians by Israel. The foreign minister will also hold talks with local and international media representatives and present Pakistan's views on the situation in Palestine.

Pakistan has geared up its efforts for the UNGA session over the Palestine situation. During the Eidul Fitr holidays, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Qureshi established contacts with leaders of the Muslim world on the issue.

Imran also spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, while Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with his Palestinian counterpart. Qureshi also discussed the Middle East situation with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan.

The National Assembly also unanimously passed a resolution condemning Israeli atrocities against the people of Palestine.

Read more: Israeli air strikes continue as Gaza death toll nears 200

The resolution tabled by Qureshi strongly condemned the systematic and institutionalised oppression of Palestinians by Israel.

It also denounced the systematic and brutal disenfranchisement, exclusion and ethnic cleansing of the people of Palestine.

More than a week of Israeli aggression on Gaza showed few signs of abating on Tuesday despite the intense US and global diplomacy to stop the region’s fiercest hostilities in years.

Gaza health officials put the Palestinian death toll at 212, including 61 children and 36 women, since hostilities began last week. Ten people have been killed in Israel, including two children.

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