Spain, Turkey call on international community to act to stop Gaza war

Spain and Turkey urged the international community, at a bilateral summit in Madrid, on Thursday, to stop “looking the other way” and push for an end to Israel’s attack on Gaza, according to PTI.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, during a news conference with Pedro Sanchez, Spain’s prime minister, in Madrid, Spain, on Thursday, June 13, 2024. Photographer: Magda Gibelli/Bloomberg(Bloomberg)

The bilateral summit is the eighth high level meeting between the Madrid and Ankara governments, focused on strengthening the economic cooperation between the Mediterranean nations.

Read more: Israel Warns To Shut Spain’s Jerusalem Consulate As NATO Nation Refuses To Reverse Palestine Move

According to PTI, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez stated at a news conference that, “For too long the international community has looked the other way (…), it has thought that without resolving this conflict we could live in peace and stability. What has happened during these eight months has opened the eyes of the world.”

Spain, Ireland and Norway have formally recognised Palestine as a state on May 28, while Turkey first recognised a Palestinian state in 1988. More than 140 countries have recognised a Palestinian state, except the US and other Western powers allied with Israel.

The Spanish Prime Minister asked other European and Western countries to join this effort “because it is the only solution that can guarantee peace and security in the Middle East”.

Read more: Israel accuses Hamas of ‘rejecting’ proposal for ceasefire in Gaza

On Monday, the UN Security Council approved its first resolution endorsing a cease-fire plan, by a majority, proposed by US President Joe Biden, towards ending the eight-month Israel-Hamas war.

Neither Hamas nor Israel has fully embraced the cease-fire proposal.

According to PTI, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated, “The Security Council members, especially the United States, should stand behind this decision and put the necessary pressure on Israel to ensure an immediate cease-fire.”

The conflict in Gaza has killed over 37,000 Palestinians, according to Palestinian health officials.

Israel launched its military campaign after Hamas and other militants stormed into its territory on October 7, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 250 hostages. Hamas is believed to be holding around 80 hostages and the remains of another 40.

Spain and Turkey have also called for increased humanitarian aid and a stop to the fighting. The Spanish PM also asked for the release of all hostages,according to PTI.

Read more: Hezbollah fires scores of rockets at northern Israel as Gaza cease-fire talks hang in the balance

Last week, Spain asked a United Nations court for permission to join South Africa’s case accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza.

At the Madrid summit, Spain and Turkey also signed a memorandum to boost commerce between their countries to 25 billion euros (USD 27 billion) in trade, up from the 20 billion euros (USD 21,5 billion) that Sánchez forecast for the end of the year, an increase of almost 50 per cent since 2018, as reported by PTI.

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