The "Gaza War" is at the heart of the Munich Security Conference talks and the African Union Summit The "Gaza War" is at the heart of the Munich Security Conference talks and the African Union Summit

The "Gaza War" is at the heart of the Munich Security Conference talks and the African Union Summit

The "Gaza War" is at the heart of the Munich Security Conference talks and the African Union Summit

A number of Western and African officials called for the need to stop the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip “immediately,” warning of the devastating consequences of the potential attack on the city of Rafah.

The ongoing Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip and the possible attack on the city of Rafah, south of the Strip, topped the agenda of meetings and summits held in Europe and Africa.

King Abdullah II of Jordan warned of the Israeli attack on Rafah, considering that it would lead to "another humanitarian catastrophe that may lead to the displacement of the population."

This came as part of a series of meetings he held, on Friday and Saturday, with Arab and Western officials, on the sidelines of the sixtieth session of the Munich Security Conference, held in Germany, according to separate statements from the Royal Court.

The King of Jordan stressed his country's rejection of "any attempts to displace Palestinians internally or externally."

He pointed out "the need to intensify international efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza" and to ensure the provision of humanitarian aid "in a sustainable manner."

The meetings included German Chancellor Olaf Schulz, members of the US Senate, Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani, the President of the Northern Iraqi Region, Nechirvan Barzani, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, and the Prime Minister of Slovenia, Robert Golub.

The Jordanian King also met with Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.


"Devastating consequences of the Rafah attack"

In a meeting held on Saturday, also on the sidelines of the Munich Conference, the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States) expressed their concern about the risk of forced displacement of Palestinian civilians from the Gaza Strip and the potential consequences of launching an Israeli military operation in Rafah.

Italy, which currently holds the presidency of the G7, said in a statement: “(Foreign ministers) called for urgent action to confront the catastrophic humanitarian crisis in Gaza, in particular the suffering of 1.5 million civilians who have taken refuge in Rafah, and expressed their deep concern about the potentially devastating consequences for the civilian population.” As a result of another comprehensive Israeli military operation in that region.”


Unprecedented attacks

In Africa, African leaders condemned the Israeli attacks on Gaza during the meeting of the thirty-seventh regular session of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

During a joint press conference with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohamed Shtayyeh, the Chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the President of the Comoros, Ghazali Othmani, head of the current session of the Union, touched on the Israeli attacks on Gaza.

Faki called for an immediate halt to the attacks in Gaza, and stated that "African countries condemn the Israeli attacks."

He added: "The Israeli attacks (on Gaza) are a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law," accusing Israel of destroying Gaza.

He stressed that Gaza is facing unprecedented attacks in human history, stressing his solidarity with the Palestinian people.

In turn, Comoros President Gazali Ousmani, Chairman of the current session of the African Union, condemned “the genocide committed by Israel in Palestine.”

He added: "The international community cannot turn a blind eye to the atrocities that lead not only to chaos in Palestine, but to dire consequences in the rest of the world as well."

On Friday, the sixtieth session of the Munich Security Conference kicked off with the participation of a number of heads of state and government, ministers and senior officials from a large number of countries, as well as a number of heads of international organizations and thought leaders.

The thirty-seventh regular session of the African Union Summit also began on Saturday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, and ends tomorrow, Sunday.

Amidst coups and sharp divisions the start of the African Union Summit in Ethiopia


The two-day African Union summit opened in Addis Ababa on Saturday, in light of divisions and coups sweeping the African continent.

The thirty-seventh session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union kicked off in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Saturday.

The two-day meeting is being held under the theme of the AU 2024 “African Education fit for the 21st Century: Building resilient education systems to increase access to inclusive and lifelong learning of quality relevant to Africa.”

The Chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said on Wednesday, during the opening of the meeting of the Executive Council of the African Union, that “Sudan is on fire, and Somalia is still vulnerable to the jihadist threat.”

Faki also referred to “the situation in the Horn of Africa, which continues to raise concerns... the persistent tensions in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo,” the instability in Libya and the terrorist threat in the Sahel region.

He added, "Renewed military coups, pre- and post-election violence, war-related humanitarian crises and/or the effects of climate change are all sources of very great concern to us."

He pointed out that these factors “seriously threaten to undermine the indicators of Africa’s progress that we cherish.”

Among the 55 member states, 6 countries - Gabon, Niger, Mali, Guinea, Sudan and Burkina Faso - were absent from the summit, after their membership was suspended due to coups that took place there.

On the eve of the opening of the summit, a meeting was held in Addis Ababa to discuss the situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has been witnessing a renewed armed conflict since the end of 2021.

The African Union summit is also being held at a time when Senegal has been experiencing a serious crisis since early February, as a result of President Macky Sall’s postponement of the presidential elections, before he later retracted the decision.

Disagreements and divisions

Nina Wellen, director of the Africa Program at the Egmont Institute of International Relations, expressed doubt that strong decisions would be issued during the summit.

She said that “the resistance of member states, which do not want to see precedents that could harm their own interests,” still prevents the African Union from “making its voice heard,” noting that the organization has not yet had “any significant influence in countries that have witnessed recent coups.” .

One indicator of these divisions is the disputes between Algeria and Morocco, the two North African powers, which have long delayed the appointment of the next president of the African Union, a rotating position.

The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, the President of the Comoros, Gazali Assoumani, the Chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, are scheduled to deliver speeches at the opening of the summit.

The conference will discuss the peace and security situation on the continent, regional integration, and development among other critical issues.

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