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Host Saudi raises concerns over economic impact of Gaza war at global summit

A Palestinian child stands amid the debris of a house destroyed by overnight Israeli bombardment in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on April 27, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Saudi Arabia has expressed concerns about the impact of the Israeli regime’s genocidal war on Gaza on global economic sentiments, calling for efforts to safeguard regional stability during a Saudi-hosted economic summit attended by Gaza mediators.

Speaking during a panel discussion at the two-day World Economic Forum (WEF) special meeting in Riyadh on Sunday, Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan expressed concerns about the economic impact of the Gaza war, conflicts in Ukraine, and other global tensions.

“The region needs stability,” Jadaan said, adding, “I think cool-headed countries and leaders and people need to prevail, and you need to make sure that you actually de-escalate.”

Leaders from 12 countries and over 1,000 participants from West Asia and Europe are invited to attend the forum. Among them are foreign ministers and prime ministers from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, the EU, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq, as stated in a WEF press release.

WEF president Borge Brende, during a press conference on Saturday, announced that the talks will focus on the current humanitarian crisis in Gaza and will also cover regional matters at what is expected to be a highly significant gathering.

Brende noted that the upcoming summit will not include Israeli participation and also provides a platform for structured discussions among the key players involved.

He also mentioned that formal mediation between Qatar and Egypt was taking place in a separate location.

Saudi planning minister Faisal al-Ibrahim also emphasized the delicate balance between security and prosperity that the world is currently navigating. Speaking at a press conference on Saturday ahead of the summit, he warned that a single misjudgment, miscalculation, or miscommunication could worsen the existing challenges.

Saudi Arabia is concerned that the ongoing war in Gaza and the possibility of a wider regional war could hinder the progress of its ambitious Vision 2030 plan.

Meanwhile, a private plane, previously used by officials with the Israeli regime’s Mossad spy agency departed from Ben Gurion Airport in the occupied territories on Saturday and landed in Saudi Arabia.

The aircraft is suspected to be carrying top Israeli officials, who would be continuing talks on the potential normalization of relations between Riyadh and the Tel Aviv regime, despite the ongoing war in Gaza which has resulted in the deaths of over 34,388 Palestinians, mostly women and children.

This is while earlier in February, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry had publically announced that the kingdom would not begin diplomatic relations with Israel before the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and a full withdrawal of Israeli troops from the besieged territory.

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