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Spain's Top Diplomat Discusses 'Concern Over Critical Situation In Rafah' With Israeli, Palestinian Ambassadors

13.02.2024 00:12

Jose Manuel Albares also reiterates Spain’s call for immediate cease fire in Gaza conflict.

Spain's foreign minister met separately with the Israeli and Palestinian ambassadors on Monday evening, "highlighting his concern for the critical situation in Rafah."

According to a statement from the ministry, Jose Manuel Albares also called for an immediate cease-fire, the release of hostages, and for Israel to allow humanitarian aid in the territory.

The meetings come as Israel ramps up its attacks on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where an estimated 1.4 million Palestinian refugees are taking shelter.

The meetings with the ambassadors were also rather spontaneous, as Albares was scheduled to travel to Algeria on Monday. However, the trip, which aimed to normalize rocky bilateral relations, was called off at the last minute due to "scheduling conflicts" in the host country.

During Albares' meetings with Israeli Ambassador Rodica Radian Gordon and Palestinian Ambassador Husni Abdelwahad, he also discussed Spain's commitment to a peace process based on implementing a two-state solution.

Last week, Albares had high-level meetings in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates where he discussed how the international community can help Israel and Palestine achieve a lasting peace.

At the end of January, he also visited Lebanon and Iraq with a similar mission.

He has said 88 countries now support Spain's peace plan.

However, Albares also came under fire from other Spanish politicians, including government ministers, on Monday after Spanish daily El Diario reported that Spain sold ammunition to Israel after Oct. 7.

Albares had previously claimed that Spain imposed an effective embargo on sending military supplies to Tel Aviv after the war broke out.

On Monday night, the Foreign Ministry released a statement saying that Spain has not "authorized" any arms sales to Israel since Oct. 7.

However, according to the El Diario report, although the sale, worth nearly $1 million, was authorized before Oct. 7, the sale took place in November.

Other Spanish Cabinet ministers are now demanding a formal embargo on all military sales to Israel. -

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