COP28: Iranian delegation walks out over Israeli presence

Iranian representatives walked out of negotiations at the UN climate conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), on Friday in protest at the presence of an Israeli delegation, state media reported.

The Iranians consider Israel's presence at COP28 "contrary to the goals and guidelines of the conference, and as a sign of protest, they are leaving the conference hall," said the head of the Iranian delegation, Energy minister Ali Akbar Mehrabian, quoted by Iran's official Irna agency.

Iran, which does not recognise Israel, supports Hamas, mainly since the Palestinian movement carried out a bloody attack on Israeli territory on 7 October.

In a telephone conversation with his counterpart in the Emirates, Abdallah ben Zayed Al-Nahyane, Iranian Foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian this week "deplored" the presence of an Israeli delegation at the COP.

Evacuation zones

Meanwhile, the fighting in Gaza is raging again. The Israeli army announced new safe zones for civilians on Friday morning. "An interactive map of the evacuation zones has been published on the Internet in Arabic in preparation for the next phase of the war," it said.

According to the army, the map divides the area into recognisable zones so that residents can "orient themselves, understand instructions and move to safety from specific locations if necessary".

At least 32 people were killed in Gaza in the first three hours of renewed fighting, according to the Hamas-controlled health ministry. Hamas accused Israel of refusing to accept proposals to release more hostages in negotiations throughout the night.

Meanwhile, Qatar continues to negotiate. "The ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms that negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides continue with the aim of returning to a ceasefire," it said in a statement.


© Fleyhan/ROPI via ZUMA Press

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