G7 asks 'all parties' to prevent further Middle East escalation

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, centre, is surrounded by Britain's Foreign Secretary David Cameron, left, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa , high, Canada's Foreign Minister Melanie Joly and Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani as they attend an Indo-Pacific meeting on the sidelines of the G7 Foreign Ministers meeting on Capri Island, Italy, Friday, April 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, Pool)

G7 foreign ministers Friday urged "all parties" to "work to prevent further escalation" in the Middle East, following reports that Israel had carried out revenge strikes on Iran.

"In light of reports of strikes on April 19th, we urge all parties to work to prevent further escalation. The G7 will continue to work to this end," the Group of Seven industrialised nations said in a statement.

The ministers from Italy, the U.K., U.S., France, Germany, Japan and Canada said they "demand that Iran and its affiliated groups cease their attacks".

"We will hold the Iranian government accountable for its malicious and destabilising actions," they said after a meeting in the Italian island of Capri.

The G7 said it was "ready to adopt further sanctions or take other measures, now and in response to further destabilizing initiatives".

Iran's state media reported explosions in the central province of Isfahan Friday, as U.S. media quoted officials saying Israel had carried out retaliatory strikes on its arch-rival.

Israel had previously warned it would hit back after Iran fired missiles and drones at Israel almost a week ago, in retaliation for a deadly strike on Iran's embassy in Syria which Tehran blamed on its foe.

Fears of a major regional spillover from the Gaza war have since soared.

 

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