ISLAMABAD: Days before an urgent meeting of the OIC called in Jeddah on October 18, Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani worked the phones on Monday and talked to his counterparts in Iran and Egypt.
Earlier, he had a detailed phone conversation with his UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed on Saturday calling for a coordinated response, as the crisis in the Gaza Strip worsened with Jilani saying Israel was carrying out a ‘genocide’ of the Palestinians.
The OIC meeting will take place at the OIC General Secretariat Headquarters in Jeddah. Pakistan will strive in Jeddah to ensure that there was a coordinated OIC response at a time when some states like UAE have recognised Israel and others have been on the verge of recognition. Jilani will be travelling to Jeddah to participate in the OIC meeting as he explained, “I will attend the meeting as part of the executive committee to discuss the Palestinian issue.”
After his conversation with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, Jilani commented, “We stressed preventing conflict from escalating, protecting civilians from collective punishment, starvation and displacement. I assured Pakistan’s humanitarian assistance“.
Jilani also spoke to his Iranian counterpart, Hossien Amir Abdollahahain, where the foreign minister said, “We discussed the crisis in Gaza, killings of civilians and large-scale displacements of Palestinians from their homes. We agreed that urgent steps were needed to prevent conflict from escalating and provision of humanitarian assistance “.
Pakistan presently, say sources, is working out the modalities of sending humanitarian assistance to Palestine but realized that sending it in is nigh impossible.
“Yes, we are discussing modalities to send assistance to the Palestinians but the area is completely shut,” maintained our sources.
Reports from the Egyptian border talk about a convoy of trucks carrying humanitarian assistance parked there but unable to enter Palestine.
“We are in touch with Muslim countries, including the Saudi government on the issue of Palestine and I am also looking forward to a bilateral meeting with the Saudi foreign minister during my visit to Jeddah,” says Jilani.
The OIC executive committee is headed by Saudi Arabia and members are expected to arrive at a consensus “on the escalating military situation in Gaza and its environs”
In the wake of indiscriminate Israeli aggression and siege of the Gaza Strip, the already oppressed people of densely-populated Gaza are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
In view of the human tragedy unfolding in Gaza, the Government of Pakistan has decided to immediately dispatch humanitarian relief assistance to Gaza, to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian brothers and sisters.
The government is coordinating with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, relevant UN agencies, the Government of Egypt and Pakistan Missions abroad to finalize modalities of delivery.