OIC diplomats gather in New York ahead of UNGA session on Palestine

Pakistan's foreign minister hosted a working dinner on Wednesday, a day prior to the UN General Assembly meeting on Palestine.

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Top diplomats of several Muslim countries gathered in New York on Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s special UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) meeting on the situation in Palestine.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi hosted a working dinner, which was attended by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavuşoğlu, Palestine’s Foreign Minister Riad Al-Maliki, Tunisia Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi, President of the UNGA Volkan Bozkir, and envoys of OIC countries in the UN, according to a statement by the Pakistan mission to the UN.

Speaking on the occasion in a statement, Qureshi said the entire Muslim world is outraged over Israel’s use of indiscriminate and disproportionate force against innocent Palestinians.

“Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s strongest possible condemnation of Israel’s deliberate and systematic assault against Palestinian worshippers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan; violation of the sanctity of the holy sites; its policy of expansion of illegal settlements; as well as the forced eviction of Palestinians, and demolition of their homes with impunity,” the statement read.

Qureshi also expressed gratitude to all OIC countries, who, along with Pakistan, played a proactive role in convening the special meeting of the UNGA.

“I hope that special meeting of the UNGA will help send a strong message on behalf of the OIC to the international community to help end the Israeli aggression, and to take concrete steps to find a solution to the Palestinian issue,” the Pakistani minister said.

At least 227 Palestinians have been killed, including 64 children and 38 women, and 1,620 others have been injured in Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip since May 10, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Health centers, media offices and residential neighborhoods have been targeted during the bombardments.

Tensions that started in East Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan spread to Gaza as a result of Israeli assaults on worshippers in the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the forced evictions in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

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