Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : 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)
TT

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.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : US, SKorea Sign Joint Nuclear Deterrence Guidelines in Face of NKorean Threats

South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol attends a session of the NATO summit with Indo-Pacific Partners Thursday July 11, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol attends a session of the NATO summit with Indo-Pacific Partners Thursday July 11, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
TT

US, SKorea Sign Joint Nuclear Deterrence Guidelines in Face of NKorean Threats

South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol attends a session of the NATO summit with Indo-Pacific Partners Thursday July 11, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol attends a session of the NATO summit with Indo-Pacific Partners Thursday July 11, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The US and South Korea signed joint nuclear deterrence guidelines for the first time, a basic yet important step in their efforts to improve deterrence toward North Korea's evolving nuclear threats.

Meeting Thursday on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Washington, President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol commended what they called “the tremendous progress” that their countries’ alliance have made a year after creating a joint Nuclear Consultative Group.

The two leaders authorized “the US-ROK Guidelines for Nuclear Deterrence and Nuclear Operations on the Korean Peninsula” that was signed by their defense officials earlier Thursday, according to South Korea’s presidential office. ROK stands for the Republic of Korea, South Korea’s official name.

Last year, the US and South Korea launched the consultative body to strengthen communication on nuclear operations and discuss how to integrate US nuclear weapons and South Korean conventional weapons in various contingencies. The US has long promised to use all its capabilities, including nuclear weapons, to defend South Korea if it is attacked, but faced suspicions that it lacks plans on how it would exercise its extended deterrence for its Asian ally.

The consultative body was established as North Korea has sharply accelerated its missile testing activities and openly threatened to use nuclear weapons preemptively in potential conflicts, The Associated Press reported. South Korea has no nuclear weapons.

“The presidents underscored that the Guidelines document provides a solid foundation for enhancing US-ROK extended deterrence cooperation in an integrated manner," said a joint statement by Biden and Yoon.