Group of Muslim countries to push for Gaza ceasefire -Turkish source

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ANKARA (Reuters) – A newly formed group made up of senior officials from several Muslim countries will visit the United Nations Security Council’s five permanent members and others to urge an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, a Turkish foreign ministry source said on Tuesday.

The group was formed earlier this month at a summit of the Arab League and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Riyadh. It includes foreign ministers and representatives from Turkey, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, the Palestinian Authority, as well as the OIC Secretary General.

The source said the group had started talking with the permanent U.N. Security Council members – the United States, China, Russia, Britain, and France – with a visit to Beijing on Monday, and would also visit other countries.

“The primary goal of the contact group is for a ceasefire to be announced as soon as possible and for humanitarian aid to be sent to Gaza,” the source said.

“As an end goal, (the group) aims to contribute to the two-state solution within the framework of internationally accepted parameters; to Palestinians living in their own country safely, with stability and prosperity,” the person said.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas’ Oct. 7 raid, the deadliest in Israel’s 75-year history, prompted Israel to invade Gaza. The military campaign has killed at least 13,000 Palestinians, many of them children and women, and led to calls for a ceasefire or humanitarian truce.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan did not participate in the Beijing leg of the tour and will also miss the group’s trip to Moscow on Tuesday as President Tayyip Erdogan is on a visit to Algeria, the source said.

Fidan said on Monday he would join the next legs of the tour. He told Al Jazeera at the weekend that Muslim countries had, for now, decided to use “all diplomatic and humanitarian means” available to end the fighting in Gaza, adding Israeli attacks on the enclave must be stopped at the U.N. and other platforms with the efforts of likeminded countries.

The group will meet British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron during visits to Britain and France on Wednesday, the source said.

Turkish media reported the group would visit France and Britain on Wednesday.

Separately, a group of 87 Turks, Turkish Cypriots, and their relatives arrived in Egypt from Gaza on Monday, and are expected to fly to Istanbul late on Tuesday, the source said.

On Monday, nearly 200 evacuees from Gaza, including patients in need of medical care and their companions, arrived in Turkey.

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Source: KFGO

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