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World powers welcome Israel-Hamas truce

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World powers welcomed an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas that was in place Friday while urging a long-term political solution to the Middle East conflict.

Here are reactions from around the world:

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- European Union -
The EU welcomed the ceasefire and insisted that working toward a "two-state solution" was the only viable option.

"We are appalled and regret the loss of life over these past 11 days," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.

"As the EU has consistently reiterated, the situation in the Gaza Strip has long been unsustainable."

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- Russia -
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said while Moscow was satisfied with the truce, more needed to be done.

Members of the Ezz-Al Din Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement, carry the bodies of members of the group who died in Israeli bombardment of a tunnel, during a funeral procession in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 21, 2021. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP)


"This is an important but still insufficient step," she said.

"In order to avoid a resumption of violence, we must double international and regional efforts on relaunching direct political negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians."

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- Turkey -
Turkey's foreign ministry welcomed the ceasefire, saying it hopes it will be "sustainable", while placing blame on Israel for the unrest.

"The only way to a permanent, fair and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue is Israel's putting an end to its occupation."

- China -
Beijing welcomed the truce and said the international community now needed to "extend helping hands" to the region.

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It said it would commit $1 million in emergency aid and a further $1 million to UN relief efforts for the Palestinians.

"The international community should promote the resumption of peace talks between Palestine and Israel, and achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestine issue on the basis of the two-state solution," foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters.

- United States -
President Joe Biden said the ceasefire marks a "genuine opportunity" for peace following the unrest.

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"I believe we have a genuine opportunity to make progress and I'm committed to working toward it," Biden said at the White House, highlighting Egypt's role in brokering the truce.

- Germany -
"Good that there is now a ceasefire," Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted, a day after he visited Israel and Ramallah for talks.

"Now we have to deal with the causes, rebuild trust and find a solution to the Middle East conflict."

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- Britain -
Britain called on all sides to the conflict to ensure the ceasefire is lasting.

"All sides must work to make the ceasefire durable and end the unacceptable cycle of violence and loss of civilian life," UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Twitter, adding that Britain supports "efforts to bring about peace".

- France -
France welcomed the ceasefire but said the violence underscored the need for a relaunch of the peace process.

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Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned that barring negotiations, "cycles of violence will be repeated".

- Hezbollah -
Lebanon's Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah, which has close ties with the Islamist movement Hamas, said the ceasefire marked a "historic victory".

"Hezbollah congratulates the heroic Palestinian people and its valiant resistance on the historic victory achieved... against the Zionist enemy," the Shiite group said in a statement.

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- Kuwait -
Kuwait's foreign ministry said, "the agreement is a step to help save lives and end the violence for which the Israeli occupation authorities bear responsibility".

"Achieving stability in the region requires concerted international efforts to resume the peace process in the Middle East and to establish an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital," it said in a statement.

- Jordan -
Jordanian foreign ministry spokesman Dhaifallah Ali al-Fayez said the ceasefire was a "positive and necessary first step".

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"Israel must comply with it and stop the provocations and escalation in the occupied territories," he said in a statement, calling for the start of "serious negotiations aimed at achieving a comprehensive, lasting and just peace on the basis of a two-state solution".

- Bahrain -
Bahrain's foreign ministry said in a statement it welcomed the pact and "stressed the importance of continued international efforts to resolve the Palestinian issue on the basis of a two-state solution".

- Iran -
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Israel had been "forced to accept defeat" by Palestinian armed groups.

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"I thank dear and almighty God for the victory and honour bestowed upon Palestinian fighters," he said in a statement on his official website.

- Pope Francis -
Pope Francis hailed the ceasefire and urged the entire Catholic Church to pray for peace.

"I thank God for the decision to halt the armed conflicts and acts of violence, and I pray for the pursuit of paths of dialogue and peace," he said.

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