Arab leaders and Chinese officials in Beijing (Video Screengrab)

In a meeting today in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, alongside officials from Arab and Muslim-majority nations, stressed the urgency of addressing the conflict in Gaza. The meeting, which included representatives from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, the Palestinian National Authority, Indonesia, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, marked the beginning of a global tour aimed at fostering a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Wang Yi emphasized China's stance for justice and fairness in the conflict, urging immediate action to prevent further tragedy. Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud echoed this sentiment, advocating for an immediate ceasefire and the swift provision of relief materials.

The delegation expressed a desire to collaborate with China and other responsible nations in resolving the situation. This meeting follows a series of Israeli military actions in Gaza, initiated in response to an October 7 attack by Hamas, which resulted in the capture of over 200 hostages, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Sources indicate that a potential agreement for the release of some hostages and a temporary halt in hostilities may be nearing, facilitated by negotiations involving the United States, Israel, and Hamas, with Qatar's mediation.

China's position contrasts with that of the U.S., an ally of Israel and a significant regional influencer. Beijing has criticized Israel's retaliatory actions and has not condemned Hamas, leading to tensions with Israeli officials. China insists on the need for Israel to halt its measures in Gaza and establish humanitarian access to avert a larger crisis.

Israel maintains that its actions are a necessary response to what it terms a "barbaric invasion," insisting on the return of hostages before considering a ceasefire. Meanwhile, China is actively seeking to enhance its global influence by mediating in this conflict. It recently sent a peace envoy to the region and has been vocal at the United Nations for an immediate ceasefire, leveraging its current presidency of the Security Council.

The UN Security Council, under China's presidency, passed a resolution demanding the release of hostages by Hamas and the establishment of humanitarian corridors in Gaza. The U.S. and U.K. abstained from the vote, criticizing the resolution's failure to condemn Hamas.

Saudi Arabia's minister praised the Security Council's decision under China's leadership, highlighting China's growing influence in the Arab world and its potential role in redefining regional alliances traditionally dominated by the U.S.

In his address, Wang Yi reaffirmed China's commitment to supporting Arab and Muslim nations and backing the Palestinian people's quest for their legitimate national rights.

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