Iran president lands in Saudi for Gaza summit

AFP , Ahram Online , Saturday 11 Nov 2023

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday for a summit on Gaza, state-affiliated media reported, his first visit since the two countries agreed to restore ties in March.

Iran Saudi Arabia
This handout picture provided by the Iranian Presidency on November 11, 2023, shows Iran s President Ebrahim Raisi (C) speaking to a Muslim cleric prior to boarding an aircraft departing from Tehran s Mehrabad International Airport to Saudi Arabia to attend a summit. AFP

 

The emergency meeting of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) comes after Israel's aerial and ground attacks on Gaza killed more than 11,000 people, mostly women and children, according to the Palestinian health ministry. 

Middle East leaders have called for a ceasefire while warning the conflict risks drawing in other countries, a threat Raisi on Saturday blamed on Washington's staunch support for Israel.

Footage aired on the Al-Ekhbariya channel showed Raisi, wearing a traditional Palestinian keffiyeh scarf, greeting Saudi officials at the airport after disembarking from his plane.

"The war machine in Gaza belongs to the US," he said before departing for Riyadh. "The US has prevented the ceasefire in Gaza and is expanding the scope of the war."

President Raisi emphasized the need for action rather than mere rhetoric in addressing the situation in Gaza. "Gaza is not an arena for words. It should be for action," he stated, underscoring the urgency of the matter.

The Iranian president further emphasized the importance of unity among Islamic countries in dealing with the crisis. "Today, the unity of the Islamic nations is very important," he added.

Accompanying President Raisi, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian expressed confidence that the summit would send a strong message to those perpetuating conflict and result in the cessation of war crimes in Palestine.

"The summit will send a strong message to warmongers in the region and result in the cessation of war crimes in Palestine," Amirabdollahian stated.

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