HomeNewsDiplomatic NewsGaza dominating World Economic Forum 2024

Gaza dominating World Economic Forum 2024

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Riyadh, 28 April 2024 (TDI): The ongoing military offensive in Gaza and mounting tensions in the Middle East are expected to dominate the World Economic Forum 2024.

Saudi Arabia is hosting the World Economic Forum WEF which begins on Sunday. The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Palestinian leaders, and high-ranking officials from other countries shall be trying to broker a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas.

Saudi Planning Minister, Faisal al-Ibrahim is amongst the guests attending the summit. “The world is today walking a tightrope right now, trying to balance security and prosperity,” he shared during a press conference on Saturday previewing the event.

“We meet at a moment when one misjudgment or one miscalculation or one miscommunication will further exacerbate our challenges.”

‘New momentum’ in hostage talks

Borge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum (WEF), hinted that “some new momentum now in the talks around the hostages and…a possible way out of the impasse we are faced with in Gaza” is expected.

“This is more an opportunity to have structured discussions” with “the key players”, he stressed.

“There will be discussions, of course, on the ongoing humanitarian situation in Gaza” as well as on Iran, which backs Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, he added.

However, Israelis are not participating in any capacity in the summit. Brende noted that formal mediation involving Qatar and Egypt has been unfolding elsewhere.

Also Read: Pro-Palestine protestor interrupts German Ambassador’s speech

Permanent status for State of Palestine

The State of Palestine President, Mahmud Abbas, thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for hosting the World Economic Forum which is impacting the world in numerous ways.

“Whenever we talk about Gaza and what is happening in Gaza, we cannot but go back 75 years when the Israeli occupation started in Palestine,” he expressed. “Palestine is suffering and the world is watching,” he lamented.

The Palestinian Premier declared his government’s official stance of condemning both the historical occupation by Israel and the killing of civilians, including the October 7 victims, irrespective of their “affiliation, belonging or nationality”.

Furthermore, he earnestly requested an immediate ceasefire, increased humanitarian aid into Gaza, and a long-awaited political solution to prevent further “disproportionate attacks” by the Israeli military.

“We ask Israel to stop its attack[s]. We call upon especially the United States of America to request Israel to hold its fire because the US is the only country that can prevent Israel from perpetrating crime[s].”

And, “I call upon all countries to acknowledge the State of Palestine as it acknowledged the state of Israel,” he concluded referring to permanent status.

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