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OIC must give due response to Israel’s carnage, Rouhani tells Qatari emir

Leaders of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation pose for a photo ahead of a summit in Istanbul, Turkey, December 13, 2017. (Photo by AP)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has once again censured Israel’s recent massacre of Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip, calling on Muslim nations to give “a due response” to the regime’s latest crime.

In a phone conversation with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Thursday, Rouhani described Tel Aviv’s carnage of Gazans as a “criminal” act, saying Islamic countries should discuss “a proper response” to the regime's latest bloodshed during the upcoming summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Turkey.

The Israeli military on Monday resorted to snipers, tank fire and live ammunition to break up another Palestinian mass protest near the fence separating Gaza from the occupied territories.

Over 60 Palestinians lost their lives and over 2,700 others were injured during the military crackdown on the anti-occupation demonstration, which was held on the eve of Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe) Day and coincided with the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.

The brutal Israeli response to the protest drew strong condemnation from the international community, the United Nations and leading human rights organizations.

The United States, however, rushed to Israel’s help and blocked two UN Security Council resolutions that would condemn the regime.

Turkey, which holds the rotating presidency of the 57-nation OIC, has called for an emergency meeting of the Muslim body on Friday in the city of Istanbul to coordinate a joint action against the occupying regime.

The Iranian president and the Qatari emir will be among the participants of the Istanbul event.

During the phone talks, Sheikh Tamim, in turn, condemned Israel’s killings in Gaza as well as the transfer of the US embassy to the Israeli-occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.

He said the forthcoming OIC summit could provide a good opportunity for negotiations on regional woes.

Iran to stand by Qatar

Elsewhere in the talks, Rouhani criticized the economic embargo imposed on the Qatari nation by a Saudi-led quartet of states as “wrong” and “unfair,” emphasizing that the Islamic Republic “welcomes further enhancement of relations with Qatar as a neighbor and friendly country.”

Iran has, under various circumstances, stood by the Qatari nation and government and will continue to do so in the future, he added.

The Iranian chief executive described dialog as the sole way to deal with regional disputes.

“Iran has always been prepared for negotiations with the Persian Gulf littoral states over regional issues, but unfortunately, certain states in the region go for other solutions than dialog,” Rouhani said.

He also slammed the US for unilaterally withdrawing from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal earlier this month, expressing satisfaction with the international community’s stance against Washington’s move.

The Qatari monarch, for his part, hailed Iran’s position on the Persian Gulf row that erupted almost a year ago when Saudi Arabia, along with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, abruptly cut ties with Qatar and imposed an air, sea and land blockade against the country.

He also called for stronger ties between Tehran and Doha in different sectors.

Sheikh Tamim further criticized recent provocative moves against the Islamic Republic, saying Doha viewed Iran as a powerful nation, and that all disputes in the region should be settled through dialog.

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