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Spain Says International Community 'Must Do Everything Possible' To Avoid Escalation

15.04.2024 13:27

Iran’s attack on Israel highlighted need to end ‘spiral of violence,’ says Spanish foreign minister.

Spain's foreign minister on Monday called on the international community to "do everything possible" to avoid an escalation after the Iranian attack on Israel this weekend.

Jose Manuel Albares said in an interview with broadcaster TVE that although Tel Aviv has not retaliated and Tehran has said its attacks will be "concluded" if there is no response, the situation should be followed "very closely" in the coming days.

"It's better news that both parties are not continuing aggressively for now, but certainly we are far from what the Spanish government and its allies want — a permanent cease-fire in Gaza, the civilian population accessing humanitarian aid, the freeing of all hostages, and beyond that, definitive peace and stability in the Middle East with the two-state solution."

On Tuesday, Albares will participate in the emergency EU foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels.

He told TVE that he expects the bloc will agree on condemning Iran's attack, but hopes nations will also unite around stopping further regional escalation.

He said that Spain will also push for the bloc to underscore the importance of a permanent cease-fire, followed by an urgent two-state solution.

"This is the last time we should see this spiral of violence; that the world has to be exposed to this degree of tension," he said. "We all know the solution — to recognize Palestine and to help put a viable Palestinian state on its feet. That's the best for the peace in the Middle East."

On Thursday, Albares will travel to New York to participate in the UN Security Council's debate on Palestine obtaining full membership at the UN. There, he will speak in favor of making Palestine a sovereign state.

"This weekend's situation highlights the seriousness of this situation and why it's necessary to make this step (to recognizing Palestine) soon. The hope of Palestinians - a state - is closely linked to Israel's security," he added.

He reiterated that Madrid will soon recognize the Palestinian state, but said its government is in talks with other like-minded European nations to make the move together.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will meet later on Monday with the new Portuguese prime minister to discuss the issue. -

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