Europe Must Host Gaza Children Impacted by War, Greek Foreign Minister Says 

A Palestinian girl stands at the entrance of her family tent at a makeshift tent camp for those displaced by the Israeli air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip in Khan Younis, Gaza, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (AP)
A Palestinian girl stands at the entrance of her family tent at a makeshift tent camp for those displaced by the Israeli air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip in Khan Younis, Gaza, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (AP)
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Europe Must Host Gaza Children Impacted by War, Greek Foreign Minister Says 

A Palestinian girl stands at the entrance of her family tent at a makeshift tent camp for those displaced by the Israeli air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip in Khan Younis, Gaza, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (AP)
A Palestinian girl stands at the entrance of her family tent at a makeshift tent camp for those displaced by the Israeli air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip in Khan Younis, Gaza, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (AP)

Europe has a duty to host children hurt and traumatized by war in Gaza for as long as the conflict continues, Greek Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis told Reuters on Wednesday.

Gerapetritis is seeking partners in what he hopes would be a project to temporarily bring the children to the European Union, and said he discussed the idea with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa this week.

"We need to face this tragedy very clearly," Gerapetritis said. "Europe should be open to injured people from (Gaza) but also to children who are now facing famine or other sorts of dangers."

Greece was elected as a member of the United Nations Security Council for 2025-2026 earlier this month, and Gerapetritis believes the country's historical ties with the Arab world give it credibility to act as a peace broker.

The 56-year-old, who has held the post for a year, did not say how many people could be hosted by Greece or the EU but said the issue was under discussion with Palestinian authorities.

Gerapetritis stressed that the initiative was not linked to regular migration, which has become politically sensitive in Europe and strongly opposed by a resurgent right.

"This is an obvious call of humanitarian assistance. We're not talking here about economic migrants or other types of irregular migration," he said, days after far-right parties surged in European parliamentary elections.

Greece condemned the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas fighters against Israel but has called for a halt to Israel's ground and air assault on Gaza that Palestinian authorities say has killed more than 35,000 people and flattened whole cities.

The World Health Organization says many in Gaza face famine-like conditions and more than 8,000 children under five years old are suffering with acute malnutrition.

In addition, the psychological impact of the war on children is "tremendous", said Gerapetritis.

Gerapetritis said he talked to Palestinian and Israeli prime ministers this week about ways to seal peace and reconstruct Gaza.

"We shouldn't wait... for the war to stop in order to start discussing it," he said. "It is going to be a giant project and we have to develop it as early as possible," he said.

A Gaza ceasefire would also help reduce attacks on ships by the Iran-backed Houthi militias in the Red Sea which has affected Greece's shipping sector.

"I am relatively optimistic that alongside the ceasefire that we're hoping to achieve in the very near future, the situation also in the Red Sea will become much better," Gerapetritis said.



Azerbaijan Proposes Document on Principles of Peace before Full Deal with Armenia

FILE PHOTO: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev delivers a speech at the 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1, 2024. REUTERS/Aziz Karimov/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev delivers a speech at the 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1, 2024. REUTERS/Aziz Karimov/File Photo
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Azerbaijan Proposes Document on Principles of Peace before Full Deal with Armenia

FILE PHOTO: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev delivers a speech at the 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1, 2024. REUTERS/Aziz Karimov/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev delivers a speech at the 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1, 2024. REUTERS/Aziz Karimov/File Photo

Azerbaijan is proposing to sign a document with Armenia on the basic principles of a future peace treaty as an interim measure as they wrangle over a broader deal, a senior Azerbaijani official said on Sunday.
Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have repeatedly said they want to sign a peace treaty to end the conflict over the former breakaway Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh, reported Reuters.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Saturday a text of a treaty was 80%-90% ready but repeated it was impossible to sign it before Armenia amended its constitution to remove an indirect reference to Karabakh independence, which Armenia has rejected.
Karabakh's ethnic Armenian inhabitants enjoyed de facto independence from Azerbaijan for more than three decades until September 2023, when a lightning Azerbaijani offensive retook the territory and prompted around 100,000 Armenians to flee.
Both countries have in recent months sought to make progress on the peace treaty, including the demarcation of borders, with Armenia agreeing to hand over to Azerbaijan four contested border villages.
A document on the basic principles could be considered as a temporary measure and form the basis of the bilateral ties and ensure neighborly relations between the two countries, Hikmet Hajiyev, foreign policy adviser to the president, told Reuters.
It can be signed until Azerbaijan holds COP29 climate summit in November, Hajiyev added.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in June that a peace treaty with Azerbaijan was close to completion but that his country would not accept its demands that it change its constitution.
After he made those comments, clashes broke out between police and demonstrators, the latest in a series of protests denouncing his policies, including the handing back of ruined villages to Azerbaijan, and demanding his resignation.
On July 5, Constitution Day in Armenia, Pashinyan said the country needed a new constitution "which the people will consider to be what they created, what they accepted, what is written in it is their idea of the state they created and the relations between people and citizens in that state".