Politics & News

Civilians Pay Price of Israel-Gaza War: Saudi Crown Prince at GCC-ASEAN Summit

During the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit (ASEAN) HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman  said that he was ‘saddened’ by the escalating violence in Gaza, for which innocent people were paying the price, and firmly rejected the targeting of civilians.

In his opening speech at the summit, the Crown Prince reiterated the Kingdom’s support for efforts to find a just solution to the Palestinian problem.

The inaugural summit issued a statement calling on all parties of the Israel-Gaza war to implement a permanent ceasefire.

The leaders condemned the attacks on civilians, according to a statement released by the GCC-ASEAN summit, calling for the delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid, relief supplies, and other essential needs and services to Gaza.

The GCC-ASEAN summit statement urged the parties to the conflict to protect civilians, refrain military from targeting them, and adhere to international humanitarian law, especially the principles and provisions of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention).

The GCC-ASEAN statement also called for the immediate and unconditional release of hostages and civilian prisoners, especially women, children, the sick, and the elderly, imploring all parties to work for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

The leaders of the two regional blocs also expressed support for revitalizing the Middle East peace process and resolving the conflict between Israel and its neighbors by international law.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who led the 10-nation ASEAN this year, also called for an end to violence in Gaza by international law in his opening speech.

Strengthening relations between the two regional blocks in all fields

HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also said that Saudi Arabia aims to strengthen its relations with ASEAN countries in all fields.  Although the two organizations established relations in 1990, the meeting is their first summit seeking to promote bilateral cooperation .

The regional leaders also agreed on the 2024-2028 reference framework for cooperation, which aims to further strengthen partnership in order to realize the growing potential of mutual cooperation.

Saudi Media Consultant Remarks

Prominent Saudi media consultant and researcher Dr. Musaed Bin Saeed told Leaders MENA that the GCC-ASEAN Summit in Riyadh will strengthen the position and pioneering role of the Great Kingdom at all levels.

Bin Saeed further noted that the summit will also highlight the deep historical ties between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and ASEAN member states.

Moreover, the summit in Riyadh strengthens the GCC-ASEAN ties in the following fields: economy, culture, sports, digital innovation, information management, cyber security, and artificial intelligence.

“The speech of HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reaffirms joint efforts to achieve peace, security, and stability in light of the conflicts that the world is witnessing, especially as the situation develops in Gaza, condemns all attacks against civilians, and calls for support for the initiative of the Kingdom to revive the peace process,” Bin Saeed said.

GCC and ASEAN Members

It is worthy to mention that the Gulf Cooperation Council includes Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, while the ASEAN bloc includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines.

ASEAN Trade Value Worth

Trade between ASEAN countries is currently worth more than $110 billion.

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