Nazir Jinnah: Israeli-Iran conflict could disrupt global stability

Objects are seen in the sky above Jerusalem after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, in Jerusalem, on April 14, 2024. [VOA]

As tensions escalate between Israel and Iran, Kenyan businessman Nazir Jinnah has stepped forward to join global calls for restraint between the two sides.

Jinnah’s call comes amid a growing list of global leaders urging de-escalation and peaceful resolution to the conflict, which has the potential to disrupt global stability and impact African nations still grappling with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

He said his plea for peace is grounded in a deep concern for the consequences of conflict in Africa, a continent striving to recover from the economic downturn caused by the Covid pandemic.

In a statement, he said Africa, like many regions, is vulnerable to the ripple effects of international conflicts, particularly in terms of trade disruptions and economic instability.

"The impact of a conflict between Israel and Iran would be far-reaching, affecting not just the Middle East but also Africa and other regions," Jinnah remarked.

"It is crucial that we prioritize dialogue and diplomacy over military action to prevent further destabilization and suffering."

Africa's economic recovery is already fragile, with many countries facing challenges such as rising inflation, currency depreciation, and high unemployment rates.

Jinnah said a conflict in the Middle East could exacerbate these challenges, leading to increased food and fuel prices, further straining already limited resources.

Kenya’s President William Ruto like his US counterpart Joe Biden has called for restraint between Israel and Iraq to ensure the crisis does not escalate further.

"Kenya urges Israel to show utmost restraint taking into account the urgent need for all parties to walk away from the brink beyond which recovery will be enormously difficult," President Ruto said.

Jinnah noted that African businesses, particularly those reliant on stable international markets, could face significant disruptions.

He said the uncertainty created by the conflict could deter foreign investment and hinder access to global markets, impeding economic growth and development.

"We must remember the devastating impact that war has on communities, families, and economies," Jinnah emphasized.

Iran launched the attack, its first ever to directly target Israeli territory, in retaliation for a deadly air strike widely blamed on Israel that destroyed its consular building in Syria's capital early this month.

Israel and its allies intercepted the vast majority of the incoming projectiles that the army said injured 12 people.

The attack has sharply heightened fears of an Israeli counterstrike.

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