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Turkish foreign minister to visit UK, France along with Arab-Islamic ministerial delegation to discuss Gaza crisis

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published November 21,2023

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan will visit the UK and France along with his counterparts from Arab and Islamic states to discuss the crisis in the Gaza Strip, Turkish diplomatic sources said late Monday.

An Arab-Islamic ministerial delegation, which includes Fidan, was established under a decision at a joint summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League in Riyadh earlier this month to engage in diplomatic contacts addressing recent Israeli attacks on Gaza.

The delegation is formed by the foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Indonesia, Nigeria and Palestine as well as the OIC secretary-general.

They went to China on Monday in their first visit to the five permanent member countries of the UN Security Council (UNSC) to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The efforts to establish the delegation at the Joint Arab-Islamic Summit were led by Türkiye.

Due to a prior commitment to participate Monday in the 2023 budget of the Foreign Ministry and related institutions at the Planning and Budget Committee of the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye, Fidan was not able to join the delegation during the visit to China.

The Turkish foreign minister, along with his counterparts, is expected to meet British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron on Nov. 22.

Since Israel started bombing Gaza after a surprise Oct. 7 attack by the Palestinian group, Hamas, at least 13,000 Palestinians have been killed, including more than 9,000 women and children, and over 30,000 others have been injured, according to the latest figures by Palestinian authorities.

Thousands of buildings, including hospitals, mosques and churches, have been damaged or destroyed in Israel's relentless air and ground attacks on the besieged enclave.

An Israeli blockade has also cut off Gaza from fuel, electricity and water supplies, and reduced aid deliveries to a trickle.

The Israeli death toll is around 1,200, according to official figures.