D-8 countries call for immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Gaza
ISTANBUL (Web Desk) The Extraordinary Meeting of the Developing-8 or D-8 Council of Foreign Ministers was specifically held to discuss the developing situation in Gaza, and called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

 "We demand an immediate, permanent, and unconditional ceasefire in Gaza and a halt to Israel's attacks on the Palestinian people," the ministers stated in a declaration after the meeting, Turkiye's state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The declaration noted that D-8 member states would offer unwavering support for Palestine's pursuit of full membership in the United Nations (UN) and its struggle for self-determination.

At a press conference after the meeting, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said D-8 countries will not remain silent in the face of Israeli atrocities in Gaza.

"We will work with all our strength to end the Israeli occupation and achieve the two-state solution," Fidan added.

Advocating for the acceptance of Palestine's UN membership, the minister stressed that "Palestine's full membership in the UN is hindered by the US veto.

As D-8 countries, we demand an immediate end to this injustice." D-8, established in 1997, is an organization for development cooperation among Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkiye.

D-8 was established to advance trade, role, and posture in international forums, and community welfare. All D-8 member countries are also members of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC).

On the occasion, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi encouraged the Developing-8 or D-8 member countries to help Palestine jointly, amidst the ongoing Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.

Marsudi said that member countries namely Indonesia, Turkey, Malaysia, Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, and Nigeria must strengthen the work of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for Palestine.

"The D-8 member countries cannot sit still and relax while watching the genocide continue occurring in Gaza," she noted in a statement from her office on Sunday.

At the meeting, she also emphasized that ever-lasting peace, as the main and long-term goal in resolving the Palestinian crisis, will not be possible without a ceasefire.

"This is where everyone, including Indonesia, highlighted the issue of a permanent ceasefire. Since the beginning, Indonesia has consistently called for the importance of a permanent ceasefire," the minister continued.

Before reaching a ceasefire, Marsudi outlined several things that must continue to be done to help Palestine.

First, D-8 members must continue to use their influence to get more countries to recognize Palestine, she said.

"I said that at the end of May in Europe, during a meeting with, among others, the Foreign Ministers of Norway, Spain, and Ireland, discussing the importance of recognition for Palestine. In June, I will have several meetings with European countries for the same purpose," she disclosed.

Second, the D-8 countries must continue to strive for Palestine to become a full member of the UN.

“This is not an easy way, we have to keep trying. D-8 must be the driving force for this effort," she emphasized.

Furthermore, the D-8 countries must continue to voice the importance of smooth aid delivery and support the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

"Indonesia has several times increased its contribution to UNRWA. We also continued to support humanitarian assistance. The assistance provided is adjusted to the capabilities of each member country. Our spirit of solidarity is important," she remarked.