Saudi Arabia, other GCC countries welcome Gaza ceasefire

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RIYADH — Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council member states have welcomed the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and appreciated efforts made by Egypt and other international parties in this regard.

An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, came into effect at 2:00 a.m. on Friday local time.

In a statement on Friday carried by the Saudi Press Agency, the Saudi foreign ministry expressed appreciation for concerted efforts to find a just settlement for the Palestinian issue and to achieve the aspirations of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital in accordance with international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

The ministry also said that Saudi Arabia will continue to make efforts, in cooperation with friendly countries, to achieve the goal.

In a statement, Bahrain’s foreign ministry commended the effective joint international efforts led by Egypt to stop the military operations between both sides to prevent the destructive operations in preparation for political negotiations to restore security and stability and work to deliver humanitarian aid and relief supplies to the residents of the Gaza Strip.

The ministry stressed the importance of continuing international efforts to solve the Palestinian issue based on the two-state solution in accordance with international legitimacy resolutions and to establish lasting peace in the Middle East.

The Kuwaiti foreign ministry in a statement applauded the international efforts to help reach the cease-fire agreement, hailing Egypt’s role in this regard.

“The agreement is a step to help save lives and end the violence for which the Israeli occupation authorities bear responsibility,” the statement said.

However, achieving stability in the region requires concerted international efforts to resume the peace process in the Middle East and to establish an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative, the statement added.

Welcoming the ceasefire announcement, Oman’s foreign ministry said: “The Sultanate welcomes the declaration of a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, and appreciates the efforts made by brotherly and friendly countries to reduce the escalation between the two sides in order to inject blood and allow humanitarian and relief aid to reach the Gaza Strip.”

The statement confirmed the importance of continuing regional and international efforts towards establishing a comprehensive, lasting and just peace for the Palestinian cause and achieving the legitimate demands of the brotherly Palestinian people for freedom and dignity and for establishing their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, based on the principle of the two-state solution, the Arab Peace Initiative and relevant international legitimacy decisions.

Meanwhile, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Nayef Al-Hajraf in a statement said that what the Gaza strip has witnessed of escalation and aggressions demands a world stance to revive the peace endeavor and reach a just solution for the Palestinian cause, based on the international references, Arab Peace Initiative, the two-state solution and establishing the independent Palestinian state, with Al-Quds (East Jerusalem) as its capital.

Dr. Al-Hajraf lauded the Arab-Islamic move to confront Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip, valuing the UN General Assembly special session and appreciating the efforts made by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Tunisia, and the UN secretary-general.

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