UAE President, Japan PM discuss cooperation to end Hamas-Israel war

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The leaders of the UAE and Japan discussed the developing war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas during a call on Wednesday.

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida discussed ways to prioritize protecting civilians and establishing an aid and relief corridor, the official WAM news agency reported Wednesday.

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The two sides called for de-escalating the war and “underscored the need to advance efforts to achieve a comprehensive and just peace, curb the spread of conflict, and avert further unrest in the Middle East,” according to the WAM report.

Kishida “unequivocally condemned” the October 7 attack by Hamas and other Palestinian militants, including the “kidnapping” of civilians, a statement by the Japanese foreign ministry said.

The premier reportedly appreciated the UAE’s diplomatic efforts to end the escalation and hoped to cooperate with the Gulf state to “calm down the situation and to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza,” according to the statement.

The UAE, which normalized relations with Israel in 2020 under a US-brokered deal, condemned the Middle Eastern nation on Tuesday following a deadly attack on a hospital in the Gaza Strip.

The attack, which both Hamas and the Israeli side blame on the other, has claimed over 470 lives and injured over 300. Totally, since Hamas’ all-out attack nearly two weeks ago, over 3,500 people have died in Gaza and over 1,400 in Israel, according to various estimates.

The Japanese prime minister also spoke to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday.

During the call, the two leaders discussed the escalation and the importance of halting all military operations. MBS reportedly emphasized the Kingdom’s “strong stance against the targeting of civilians in Gaza, describing it as a heinous crime and a brutal act of aggression,” according to a Saudi Press Agency report.

The United States and Egypt have been pushing for a deal with Israel to get aid delivered to Gaza. Following US President Biden’s visit to Tel Aviv on Wednesday, the White House said that it had been agreed for up to 20 trucks to pass through the Rafah crossing, with hopes for more trucks later.

Most of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents depended on aid before the current conflict started on October 7, and about 100 trucks daily were providing humanitarian relief to the enclave, according to the United Nations.

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