OIC calls on China to press UN Security Council for Gaza ceasefire

OIC calls on China to press UN Security Council for Gaza ceasefire
Image by Pedro Padr/AFP

Member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) are seeking China's support to achieve an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza region.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi visited the Chinese capital Beijing to mobilize support from the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. 

On her trip to Beijing on Monday (Nov. 20), Marsudi was accompanied by foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Palestine. OIC Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha also attended the meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation foreign ministers meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on Nov. 20, 2023. (Antara Photo/Desca Lidya Natalia)

In a statement to the press on Monday, he said that the visit was aimed at gaining support, especially from the permanent members of the UN Security Council, known as the P5. This support is aimed at achieving an immediate cease-fire and facilitating the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid.

During this visit, the participating delegation also conveyed to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi their hope that the international community will address all violations committed by Israeli forces, including repeated violations in violation of international law and international humanitarian law, according to a statement released by the Saudi Press Agency.

The ministers stressed the importance, especially for the permanent members of the Security Council, of stopping the "violations" that are taking place. Meanwhile, Wang said that Beijing has consistently supported the Palestinian cause.

According to a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement, China has been working hard to defuse the conflict, protect civilians, provide humanitarian aid and prevent humanitarian disasters. Wang also expressed support for a two-state solution and an early resolution of the Palestinian issue.

Photo by REUTERS/Florence Lo/Pool

China is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, along with Russia, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. Beijing also currently chairs the main body responsible for maintaining international peace and security.

Marsudi also stressed that the OIC's presence in Beijing is a continuation of a resolution adopted by the Muslim-majority group of countries earlier this month at a joint meeting of the Arab League. The resolution mandated the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Turkey, Indonesia, and Nigeria to participate in international efforts to end the violence in Gaza.

Marsudi also said that the delegates plan to make a similar visit to Moscow, Russia, the following day with the same purpose.

China is the first visit for a delegation of OIC countries in the early stages of their round-the-world trip, during which the ministers are seeking to establish contacts with officials from all five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. The four countries yet to be visited are the United States, Russia, France, and the United Kingdom. They are determined to persuade these countries to, in turn, persuade Israel to cease its violence in Gaza, the Saudi foreign ministry said on Monday.

Last week, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for an immediate and extended ceasefire in Gaza. The resolution also called for the unconditional release of hostages held by Hamas. Twelve Council members voted in favor of the resolution, while Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom abstained. 

China said during the meeting that the UN Security Council should have adopted a tougher resolution earlier. Beijing also stressed the need to stop hostile actions by Israel against civilian sites.

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