Last Updated: November 22, 2023, 06:51 IST
Raising concerns about the worsening humanitarian situation in war-torn Gaza, Iran President Ebrahim Raisi on Tuesday asked the members of BRICS countries to cut off ties with Israel in the wake of its continued military campaign to eliminate Hamas.
During his address at the BRICS virtual meeting on West Asia, Raisi said the issue of Gaza, is the issue of humanity and justice. “The Zionist regime and its supporters have not only violated humanity, ethics and rights, but they are also trying to deceive the public opinion of the world by suppressing valid information and spreading disinformation,” he added.
On Tuesday, South Africa hosted a virtual meeting of BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — aimed at drawing up a common response to the Israel-Hamas conflict. The summit came as a delegation of foreign ministers of the Palestinian Authority, Indonesia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan hold talks this week on the conflict. Fighting has raged in Gaza after Hamas gunmen killed around 1,200 people, during cross-border raids on October 7 — the deadliest attack in Israel’s history.
In retaliation, Israel launched a relentless bombing campaign and ground offensive in Gaza, in which over 12,000 Palestinians have died. The Iranian President said, “Let’s not forget that the root of war lies in the continuation of occupation.” “Contrary to Israel’s propaganda distortion, legitimate defence is not their barbaric action, but legitimate defence according to international conventions of defence against occupation,” he added.
‘Gaza is a symbol of West’s moral decline’
At the extraordinary meeting of BRICS leaders, Raisi alleged the “Zionist regime, with the green light and full support of America, has declared war against the people under occupation and has set a record in registering war crimes.” “Today, the West has been disgraced and the falsity of Western values and slogans has been revealed. Gaza is a symbol of the moral decline of the West,” he said.
His scathing remarks came as the BRICS group of nations Tuesday called for an immediate and sustained humanitarian truce in Gaza during an extraordinary summit where chair South Africa accused Israel of war crimes and “genocide” in the Palestinian territory. “We called for an immediate, durable, and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities,” the group said in a summary of the meeting. “We reiterated our strong support for regional and international efforts aimed at achieving an immediate cessation of hostilities, ensuring the protection of civilians and the provision of humanitarian aid.”
(With agency inputs)