EU, ASEAN Call for a Durable Ceasefire in Gaza

Ilustration (photo: sepcial)

Brussels, MINA – The European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Friday expressed “grave concerns” over developments in the Middle East, and condemned the attacks against civilians.

In a joint statement following the 24th EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, the two regional blocs said they agreed to condemn all attacks against civilians, and “we noted the call of some of us for a durable ceasefire” in Gaza, Anadolu Agency reports.

“We called for rapid, safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to all those in need, including through increased capacity at border crossings and through a dedicated maritime route,” said the statement.

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It called on all parties to the conflict to protect civilians, refrain from targeting them, and abide by international law, including international humanitarian law.

The EU and ASEAN also called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of all hostages, especially women, children, the sick and the elderly, while “some of us” raised the importance of release from arbitrary detention.

Although the statement did not specifically name which party is responsible for the “arbitrary detention,” Israel has long been accused by the international community of “arbitrary detention” and “forced disappearance.”

The Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor recently asserted that several Palestinians have been “tortured to death” in Israeli army detention camps.

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It said that preliminary estimates suggest that more than 3,000 Palestinians, including 200 women and young girls, have been detained by Israeli forces.

The statement urged all parties to work towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict with a view to realizing the two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders in accordance with international law and the relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

“We took note, and some of us underlined the importance of, the order on provisional measures issued by interim ruling by the International Court of Justice on 26 January 2024,” it added.

Israel has killed more than 27,000 people in the Gaza Strip. The military onslaught has caused mass displacement and destruction and created conditions for famine. (T/RE1/P2)

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Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)