Permanent Peace Efforts in the Middle East

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By Afshain Afzal

A joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 11 November 2023, which was attended by leaders and heads of government of OIC countries. The views of Muslim leaders were divided on whether to provide consolidated support by securing focal points or wait for the results of peace efforts. Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan floated a two-pronged plan including convening of international peace conference to find a permanent solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Unlike the United States, Britain, and a good number of countries in the West, the Muslim countries, in Africa, Latin America, and other Asian countries do consider Hamas a terrorist authority and consider the organization as “legitimately defending their homeland”. There was also a difference of opinion over the acceptance and implementation of the UNO Partition Plan dated 29 November 1947 or the formation of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders.

Meanwhile, the threat to the region and the world arising from repeated threats from Israeli state authorities to eliminate the entire leadership of Hamas and its followers as well as a serious threat by Israel's Heritage Minister Amihay Eliyahu's about Israeli plans to carry out a nuclear strike on Gaza. The Summit stressed the fact that the above statement by Israeli authorities proves that Israel possesses nuclear weapons and these nuclear bombs must be examined by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Interestingly, Iran's nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes but sanctions have been imposed upon the Muslim nation while different sets of rules are allowed for Israel. It is high time that Tel Aviv must respect international law and peace efforts by the United Nations Organization as well as international humanitarian organizations. In another development, Hamas leadership in Gaza and Palestinians hailing from Israel forming a “Government in Exile”, will announce a response to Israeli demands and their own conditions. One hopes that efforts by Turkey and Saudi Arabia with the consultation of all Muslim nations to convene an International peace conference will bear results for a permanent solution for Palestine otherwise any other plan would be disastrous for the region as well as international peace.

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