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Gaza overshadows COP28 as Turkey’s Erdogan blasts ’Israeli aggression'

The leaders of Iraq, Jordan and Turkey acknowledged the plight of the Palestinians, which took the attention off the country's climate targets.
António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Türkiye and His Highness Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi during the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 at Expo City Dubai on Dec. 1, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

DUBAI — Middle Eastern heads of state at COP28 made pitches on Friday for meeting their environmental goals, highlighting the vulnerability of the region to climate change and war. More than 160 world leaders are expected to attend the UN climate talks in Expo City this week.

On Friday, a high-level delegation of political leaders delivered short addresses to the summit, which has attracted more than 80,000 attendees, making it the largest COP ever.

Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid pointed out in his address that Iraq is a low emitter of greenhouse gases, but one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, especially in regard to agriculture and water.

“The extreme weather events in Iraq, including the record-level temperatures, low precipitation, have led to larger droughts, desertification, land degradation and sandstorms,” he said, further explaining that these issues have created “economic challenges that resulted in a larger level of poverty and internal displacement as well as external migration.”

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