President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has joined other leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in issuing a statement on the developments in Gaza, calling for the cessation of hostilities, provision of humanitarian aid, release of hostages and strengthening diplomatic efforts to attain enduring peace in the region.
After exchanging views and expressing grave concerns over the developments in the Middle East during the Summit on Friday, ASEAN and GCC leaders agreed to condemn all attacks against civilians and called for a lasting ceasefire and ensure the most effective and efficient access for humanitarian aid, and relief supplies and other basic necessities and essential services.
They also called on all parties to the conflict to protect civilians, refrain from targeting them and to abide by international humanitarian law, particularly the Geneva Convention and for the immediate and unconditional release of civilian hostages, especially women, children, the sick and the elderly.
The leaders also urged all parties concerned to work towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict to realize the two-State solution based on the pre-1967 borders in accordance with international law and the relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
The ASEAN and the GCC also expressed support for the initiatives of Saudi Arabia, the European Union and the League of Arab States to revive the Middle East peace process in cooperation with Egypt and Jordan, and resolve the dispute between Israel and its neighbors in accordance with international law and all UN resolutions on this conflict.
The ASEAN-GCC Summit proper formally opened on Friday morning in Riyadh.
Separately, the ASEAN foreign ministers also issued a statement expressing grave concern over the recent escalation of armed conflicts in the Middle East.
“We urge for the immediate end of violence to avoid further human casualties and call for the full respect of International Humanitarian Law. We call on all parties to create safe, rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian corridors,” the ASEAN foreign ministers’ statement read.
“We strongly condemn the acts of violence which have led to the deaths and injury of civilians, including ASEAN nationals. We reaffirm our support for a negotiated two-State solution that allows both Israelis and Palestinians to live side-by-side in peace and security consistent with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. This will be the only viable path to resolving the root cause of the conflict.”
They also called for the protection, safety and security of all civilians, including ASEAN nationals, and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and provision of emergency assistance to ASEAN nationals.
“We urge the international community to support the peace process to ensure long lasting peace and stability in the region,” said the statement.
“We have issued our respective national statements on the escalation of armed conflicts in the Middle East.”