G7 calls upon Hamas to release all hostages without preconditions
States members of the Group of Seven (G7) welcomed the recent pause in hostilities between Israel and radical Palestinian movement Hamas, calling upon Hamas to release all hostages immediately, News.Az reports citing TASS.
A joint statement by G7 top diplomats, released by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office says: "We, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union welcome the release of some of the hostages seized on 7 October by Hamas and other terrorist organizations and the recent pause in hostilities that has allowed a surge in humanitarian assistance to reach Palestinian civilians in Gaza."
"We, as the G7, urge the release of all hostages immediately and unconditionally," the document says.
Also, the group called for "the facilitated departure of all foreign nationals" from the Gaza Strip and emphasized "Israel’s right to defend itself and its people, in accordance with international law."
"We appreciate the leadership of the United States and countries in the region, especially Qatar and Egypt, and their tireless efforts to secure this and future pauses. We support the significant efforts of the United Nations to coordinate the delivery of humanitarian assistance during this pause," G7 said.
Besides, the Group of Seven (G7) called upon Yemen’s Ansar Allah (Houthis) movement to refrain from attacks on civilian vessels and threats of disrupting maritime traffic in the Middle East, the group’s top diplomats said in a joint statement.
"Emphasizing the importance of maritime security, we call on all parties not to threaten or interfere with lawful exercise of navigational rights and freedoms by all vessels," the document says. "We especially call on the Houthis to immediately cease attacks on civilians and threats to international shipping lanes and commercial vessels and release the M/V Galaxy Leader and its crew, illegally seized from international waters on 19 November."
The seven top diplomats added that they remained "steadfast in our commitment to work with all partners in the region to prevent the conflict from escalating further."
"We remain committed to a Palestinian state as part of a two-state solution that enables both Israelis and Palestinians to live in a just, lasting, and secure peace," the joint statement says.