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Saudi prince, Iran president hold call on Israel-Hamas war

By AFP - Oct 13,2023 - Last updated at Oct 13,2023

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia's prince and Iran's president spoke by phone about the war between Israel and Hamas, Saudi state media said early on Thursday, their first call since a surprise rapprochement in March.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman received a call on Wednesday from the Iranian leader, Ebrahim Raisi, during which they discussed "the current military situation in Gaza and its environs", the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.

Prince Mohammed told Raisi that Riyadh is "communicating with all international and regional parties to stop the ongoing escalation", SPA said.

He also stressed "the kingdom's firm position towards supporting the Palestinian cause", it said.

Iranian state news agency IRNA also reported on the call, saying the two men discussed the "need to end war crimes against Palestine".

In Gaza, officials have reported more than 1,200 people killed in Israel's campaign of air and artillery strikes.

As war rages on, fears have mounted over the fate of at least 150 hostages — mostly Israelis but also including foreign and dual nationals — held in Gaza by Hamas. 

Saudi Arabia and Iran announced in March they had agreed to restore ties, ending a seven-year rupture in a deal brokered by China.

Prince Mohammed also spoke by phone on Wednesday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during which the 38-year-old said he was “exerting unremitting efforts through regional and international communication to achieve coordination that pushes for a halt of the current escalation”.

He delivered a similar message in a separate call with French President Emmanuel Macron, saying Riyadh was “working to create conditions to bring stability and restore the path of peace to ensure that the Palestinian people would achieve their fair and legitimate rights”, according to a foreign ministry readout published early on Thursday on social media.

Prince Mohammed also told Macron the kingdom rejected “targeting civilians or disrupting the infrastructure and vital interests that affect their daily lives”.


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