Foreign ministers from the seven most industrialized nations on the planet met in Japan to discuss the war in the Middle East and reaffirm support for Ukraine
The foreign ministers of the G7 made an appeal this Wednesday, 8th, for a humanitarian pause in Gaza Strip to facilitate the creation of a safe corridor that allows immediate assistance to enter. They also ask that everything possible be done to avoid an escalation and expansion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, however, they ruled out a ceasefire in the region that for 33 days has been constantly bombarded by Israel in retaliation for the attack suffered on October 7th. “We support humanitarian pauses and corridors to facilitate urgently needed assistance, movement of civilians and release of hostages,” the document adds. According to Yoko Kamikawa, Japanese Foreign Minister, the ministers demanded an “immediate release of the hostages”, called for respect for international laws and pledged to “get involved” in the search for “a solution of firmness and stability in Gaza to achieve a firm peace.” “We emphasize the need to adopt urgent measures to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. All parties must allow unhindered humanitarian aid to civilians, including food, water, medical care, fuel and shelter, and access to humanitarian workers,” the joint statement highlights.
The G7 condemned the “terrorist attacks” of Hamas and “other groups”, said the Japanese minister. Kamikawa highlighted in a press conference that “for the first time the G7 members adopt a common message on the current situation” in Israel and Palestine, which highlights “the importance of a humanitarian step” and of continuing a peace process in which “ the two-state solution is the only viable option.” The text also highlights “Israel’s right to defend itself and its people, based on international law, to avoid the repetition” of attacks such as the one carried out by Hamas on Israeli territory on October 7. However, it was not clear whether G7 members reached a consensus on the deliberations, given the different views among its members regarding Israel’s right to defend itself or the increase in civilian casualties in Gaza.
Speaking to the press after the meeting, the American Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, called on Israel not to re-occupy Palestinian territory, which the Israelis unilaterally left in 2005. Blinken said that “no re-occupation of Gaza should take place after the conflict”. On Monday, the 6th, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that fuel supplies to Gaza will not resume and that no ceasefire will be announced before the more than 240 hostages kidnapped by Hamas are released. He also stated that Israel will assume “overall responsibility for security” in Gaza after the war and that it could allow possible “tactical pauses” for the release of hostages and the entry of aid into the territory. Israeli bombings in the Gaza Strip have left 10,300 people dead, including thousands of minors, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, territory governed by Hamas.
Support for Ukraine
The heads of diplomacy from the seven most industrialized nations on the planet (Germany, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom) also highlighted, after the two-day meeting in Japan, that support for Ukraine in the war against Russia “will never hesitate”, at the same time that they asked China not to support Moscow in the conflict. Commenting on the war in Eastern Europe, the G7 reiterated that the “firm commitment to support Ukraine’s fight for its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity will never waver”. “We further call on China not to assist Russia in its war against Ukraine, to pressure Russia to stop its military aggression and to support a just and lasting peace in Ukraine,” the note added. The ministers also stated that they “welcome China’s participation in the Ukrainian-led peace process.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba addressed the G7 meeting via videoconference. Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa said that “even as tensions rise in the Middle East, it is important that the G7 stands together to send a clear message to the international community that our firm commitment to supporting Ukraine will never waver.” After 20 months of war and with Kiev’s counteroffensive trying to advance the battlefront, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meets frequently with Western leaders to try to dispel the fatigue effect of the conflict. Germany’s head of diplomacy, Annalena Baerbock, stated that G7 countries are working to help Ukraine for the second consecutive winter (northern hemisphere, summer in Brazil), given the forecast of new Russian attacks on energy sector installations.
*With international agencies