Macron receives Foreign Ministers from several Arab, Islamic countries

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2023-11-22 | 10:12
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Macron receives Foreign Ministers from several Arab, Islamic countries
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Macron receives Foreign Ministers from several Arab, Islamic countries

French President Emmanuel Macron will meet on Wednesday with foreign ministers from several Arab and Islamic countries to discuss "the situation in the Middle East," as announced by the Elysée Palace. 

The French presidency noted that Macron will receive the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian territories, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey, in addition to Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit. 

This comes after Israel and Hamas agreed on a four-day truce, extendable, during which the Palestinian movement will release 50 hostages it holds in Gaza in exchange for Israel releasing 150 Palestinian prisoners.  

It marks the first tangible step toward a truce in the ongoing conflict that has lasted for a month and a half. 

Macron welcomed the agreement on the X platform, stating that he is working "tirelessly to release all hostages. The humanitarian truce announced should allow to introduce aid and rescue the civilians in Gaza." 

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna expressed hope that there would be French citizens among the hostages released under the agreement. 

The meeting on Wednesday adds to several other diplomatic initiatives by the French president, who has intensified talks in recent days about the war between Israel and Hamas. 

On Monday, Macron and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, had a telephone call emphasizing the importance of "avoiding a humanitarian crisis in Gaza." 

On Sunday, Macron informed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that "the number of civilian casualties is very high" in Gaza, reminding him of the "absolute necessity to distinguish between terrorists and the population." 

The war broke out following an unprecedented attack by Hamas on southern Israel, leading to the death of nearly 1,200 people, mostly civilians, on the first day of the attack, according to Israeli authorities. The latter insists that about 240 people, including foreigners, were taken hostage in a Hamas attack and transported to Gaza. 

Israel vowed to "eliminate" Hamas, launching intensive air and artillery strikes and commencing ground operations from October 27, causing 14,128 deaths, including 5,840 children, according to the Hamas government. 

AFP   
 

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