RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Monday arrived in the Spanish city of Barcelona to discuss the Israel-Hamas war.

The ministerial committee headed by Prince Faisal was assigned during the Joint Arab-Islamic Extraordinary Summit held earlier in Riyadh to discuss ways to end the conflict in Gaza as soon as possible.

“The meeting discussed the efforts made to launch effective international action to stop the war and the humanitarian catastrophe it produces, in addition to the commitment to protect civilians and ensure the application of the rules of international law and humanitarian law,” read the Saudi ministry of foreign affairs statement on X platform.

Prince Faisal and the ministers met with Foreign Minister of Spain José Manuel Albarez to discuss the developments in Gaza, and what the humanitarian truce has achieved so far by releasing some Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners.

“The only sure result [of the war] is more destruction, radicalization and further conflict at the expense of Palestinian lives, as well as regional security, including that of Israel. Since this crisis erupted, we have been clear on condemning all the targeting of civilians in any form. On both sides,” Prince Faisal said.

The members of the committee stressed the return to the path of just, lasting, and comprehensive peace, through the implementation of international resolutions related to the two-state solution, and enabling the Palestinian people to obtain their legitimate rights to establish an independent and sovereign Palestinian state along the lines of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

They also renewed their demand that the international community assume its responsibility by rejecting all forms of selectivity in applying international legal and moral standards and protecting the Palestinian people from crimes committed by the occupation forces and settler militias against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Forty-two delegations were scheduled to gather at the event hosted by the Union for the Mediterranean, with many represented by their foreign ministers, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, the Palestinian Authority, Indonesia and the Arab League.

The committee members who participated in the meeting are Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Jordanian Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Al-Safadi, Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riad Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Türkiye Hakan Fidan, and Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Ahmed Aboul Gheit. (SPA)

Spain is one of the EU countries that has called for Israel to cease its assault, while also condemning the Hamas attack.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the time has come for the international community and the EU to recognize a Palestinian state during a trip with his Belgian counterpart to Israel, the Palestinian territories and Egypt last week. That prompted Israel to summon the Belgian and Spanish ambassadors.

The meeting in Barcelona was chaired by the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.

Israel is not attending the meeting, which in past years has largely become a forum for cooperation between the EU and the Arab world.

Monday’s gathering was supposed to focus on the role of the union 15 years after its founding, but it has taken on new significance since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel and Israel’s ensuing war in the Gaza Strip.

Borrell said he “regretted” the absence of Israel. He repeated his condemnation of the Hamas attack, while calling on Israel to permanently end its assault, which he said has claimed the lives of over 5,000 children.

“One horror cannot justify another horror,” Borrell said. “Peace between Israel and Palestine has become a strategic imperative for the entire Euro-Mediterranean community and beyond.”

Jordan’s Safadi, who told The Associated Press on the eve of the event that he hopes the talks will help “bridge a gap” between Arab and European countries, urged the officials attending the meeting to back a two-state solution that would recognize a Palestinian state.

“My friends, Europe has a crucial role to play,” Safadi said. “The two-state solution cannot remain a talking point.”