Statement after international ministerial meeting on the war in Gaza

Statement at press conference 15 December after international ministerial meeting on the war in Gaza.

We had a very interesting group of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and a Prime Minister, discussing the situation in Gaza. We all share a very strong recognition of how terrible this situation is. Around 19,000 people have been killed alone, on top of the 1200 Israelis that were killed in the terrorist attack from Hamas. More than 50,000 people are injured. In Gaza the population is suffering from lack of clean water, lack of food, lack of medical facilities and medicine. And we're seeing infectious diseases. There is also a very dramatic development in the West Bank, which politically may be as dramatic as the drama in Gaza.

We all said very clearly that this has to stop. But even more importantly, in this meeting, we had a very interesting exchange on what to do next, because we have a two-way problem, which is the acute situation, but there is no way out of that without somebody starting to think about what next. And of course, this meeting was not to agree or to form a document, to sign a document or anything like that. But we heard several good ideas on the way forward which at least I and I think all, all my fellow Nordic and Benelux ministers felt were really interesting, really promising.

And we very much encourage this group to continue its consultations. We want to continue to be part of it, because there has to be a dialogue between people who really want peace. Peace for Palestine, peace for Israel, peace for the Middle East. And the only good thing, if I may say so, in this terribly dramatic situation, is that it's exactly in these types of situations where new ideas can emerge. So we hope to contribute to that. And that's why we were here today.