Protesters holding banners in solidarity with the Palestinian people, demonstrate against the G7 Foreign Ministers' meeting, near the Iikura Annex of the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo, Japan, 07 November 2023. EFE-EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA

G7 foreign ministers gather to address Israel-Palestine conflict, Ukraine war

Tokyo, Nov 7 (EFE).- The foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) wealthy nations met in Tokyo on Tuesday to discuss their support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion and the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza caused by an Israeli military offensive.

Police officers keep watch as protesters demonstrate against the G7 Foreign Ministers' meeting, near the Iikura Annex of the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo, Japan, 07 November 2023. EFE-EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA

The meeting, which brought together top diplomats from Germany, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, began with a working dinner in Tokyo.

Protesters holding banners in solidarity with the Palestinian people, demonstrate against the G7 Foreign Ministers' meeting, near the Iikura Annex of the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo, Japan, 07 November 2023. EFE-EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA

They will attend a series of meetings on the Palestinian conflict on Wednesday.

Protesters holding banners in solidarity with the Palestinian people, demonstrate against the G7 Foreign Ministers' meeting, near the Iikura Annex of the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo, Japan, 07 November 2023. EFE-EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA

The G7 meeting comes amid international appeals for a ceasefire to facilitate the delivery of vital supplies to civilians in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, which has endured continuous Israeli airstrikes and a stringent blockade.

Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, who presided over the meeting as Japan currently holds the rotating G7 Presidency, emphasized the critical importance of close communication within the group, given the increasingly complex and serious international situation.

Kamikawa invited the diplomatic heads to engage in open and in-depth discussions on urgent global issues, including developments in the Middle East.

Having recently toured Israel, Palestine, and other Middle Eastern countries, the minister highlighted the Japanese presidency’s emphasis on “improving the humanitarian situation” in Gaza and contributing to the de-escalation of tensions in the region.

She expressed deep concern about the impact of the Gaza conflict on children, women, and the elderly and stressed Japan’s diplomatic efforts to secure a humanitarian ceasefire for the delivery of aid to the civilian population in the area.

Japan anticipates an outcome document from the meeting, though reaching a consensus on all the hot issues has been complicated by differing viewpoints.

A joint statement may encompass calls for a humanitarian ceasefire, adherence to international law, and a collective condemnation of the “terrorist attacks” by the Islamist Hamas group, which triggered the Israeli offensive, diplomatic sources said.

The Israeli military campaign in Gaza has killed over 10,000 after Hamas militants infiltrated Israel, leading to 1,400 casualties and 241 hostages.

Despite mounting international calls for a humanitarian truce, the Israeli military has intensified its attacks on Palestinians.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Tuesday that Israeli forces could assume control of Gaza’s security “indefinitely” once the war ended.

Regarding the war in Ukraine, the foreign ministers will reaffirm their commitment, as stated during the G7 leaders’ summit in May in Hiroshima, to assist Ukraine “for as long as necessary” and “through all possible means.”

The G7 aims to address the ongoing conflict and Russia’s apparent intention to prolong it.

The meeting may also consider new sanctions against Russia, including stricter restrictions on diamond exports, a proposal that the EU is contemplating for inclusion in its next set of punitive measures, according to the sources.

The ministers will also deliberate on the escalating instability in the Asia-Pacific region due to China’s military expansion, tensions related to Taiwan, North Korea’s weapons development, and its growing alliances with Russia and Iran. EFE

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