Foreign Minister Park Jin Discusses Gaza Conflict with Middle Eastern Counterparts

SEOUL — Foreign Minister Park Jin held phone conversations with his counterparts from Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Jordan, discussing the escalating conflict between Israel and the Islamic militant group, Hamas.

According to Yonhap News Agency, in the talks, Minister Park voiced deep concerns over the expanding ground operations in the Gaza Strip and the rising death toll, which has surpassed 9,400. While speaking to Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, Park condemned Hamas' indiscriminate attacks and urged for the early release of hostages held by the group.

Minister Park emphasized the significance of adhering to international law that protects civilians and stressed the need to cease actions that result in further civilian casualties.

In his conversations with counterparts from the UAE and Jordan, Park shared the consensus on the immediate necessity for a "humanitarian pause" in the conflict. He acknowledged the UAE's role in calling for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Moreover, Minister Park requested the respective countries to closely monitor the safety of South Korean nationals residing in Israel and surrounding areas, including Lebanon.

According to the foreign ministry, Park also had phone discussions with his counterparts from Saudi Arabia and Qatar prior to meeting them in Riyadh and Doha, respectively, during President Yoon Suk Yeol's state visits last week. All parties expressed concerns about the Middle Eastern situation and agreed on collaborative efforts to prevent any further escalation.

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