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José Manuel Albares participates in the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC)

European Union foreign ministers discussed the situation in Gaza and the Middle East during a FAC meeting to which they invited their counterparts from Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, as well as the Secretary-General of the Arab League. They also addressed the state of affairs concerning the Russia aggression against Ukraine. 

January 22, 2024
In the morning, European ministers met with Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz. They then held a working lunch with the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud; Egypt, Sameh Shoukry;and Jordan, Ayman Hsafadi. In the afternoon, they met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian National Authority, Riyad al-Maliki.

At the different meetings, ministers reviewed developments on the ground and in the wider region, and discussed the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and the need to prevent the crisis from spreading to the region. 

Speaking to his European Union counterparts, José Manuel Albares called for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and for “unrestricted and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid”. He also spoke in favour of recognition internationally, from the whole international community, of the Palestinian State, “which is the only guarantee of security and stability for Israel, for Palestine and the Palestinian people, and for the whole Middle East”. Furthermore, he repeated Spain's proposal to hold a peace conference “that would serve to implement the two-State solution”. On the margins of the Council, the head of Spanish diplomacy met with his counterparts from France, Egypt, Oman, Jordan and Palestine, among others. 

At the FAC in Brussels, ministers also discussed the Russian aggression against Ukraine, with Dmytro Kuleba, head of Ukrainian diplomacy, speaking via video-conference. On this issue, Minister Albares again called for the European Union to “maintain its efforts to support Ukraine for as long as necessary”.