G7’s Top Diplomats Discuss What Happens After Gaza Conflict

Reuters / Jonathan Ernst / Pool
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell attend a session on the war in Ukraine during their meetings in Tokyo on Wednesday.

TOKYO (Reuters) – G7 foreign ministers discussed how to revitalize peace efforts in the Middle East and the “day after” in the Gaza Strip once the conflict there recedes as they met for a two-day summit in Tokyo.

The subject was brought up during a working dinner late on Tuesday, host Japan said in a statement, with the Group of Seven (G7) due to continue talks on Wednesday on the Israel-Gaza crisis, Ukraine’s war with Russia and issues related to China.

The statement gave no details of options being discussed if the Hamas militant group is ousted from Gaza as the result of an ongoing Israeli bombardment of the Palestinian enclave.

Israel has so far been vague about its long-term plans for Gaza. In some of the first direct comments on the subject, Netanyahu said this week that Israel would seek to have security responsibility for Gaza “for an indefinite period.”

But Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told the Wall Street Journal that Israel wants the territory to be under an international coalition, including the U.S., European Union and Muslim-majority countries, or administered by local Gaza political leaders.

Diplomats in Washington, the United Nations, the Middle East and beyond have also started weighing the options.

Discussions include the deployment of a multinational force to post-conflict Gaza, an interim Palestinian-led administration that would exclude Hamas politicians, a stopgap security and governance role for neighboring Arab states and temporary U.N. supervision of the territory, Reuters reported earlier this month,

G7 foreign ministers are expected to issue a joint statement touching on the Israel-Gaza crisis later on Wednesday, marking only the second such statement from the group since Hamas gunmen sparked the conflict with an Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel.

The G7 group of wealthy, industrialized nations is made up Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, with the European Union also participating.