PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi met with a delegation of South African Presidential Envoys to the Middle East, including the former Minister of Social Development and Public Service Administration, Dr. Zola Skweyiya, the former Deputy Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr. Aziz Pahad, and advisor to the Foreign Minister and the former South African Ambassador to Libya, Mohammed Dangor, and the South African Representative to the State of Palestine, Prof. Mlungisi Washington Makalima, at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah.
Dr. Ashrawi expressed her deep appreciation to South Africa for its longstanding and meaningful relationship with Palestine and its consistent government position opposing Israel’s system of apartheid against the Palestinian people and their lands and resources.
She also bid farewell to outgoing South African Representative Prof. Makalima and thanked him for his positive contributions in improving relations between South Africa and Palestine and upholding the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine.
In the meeting, both parties reviewed recent political developments, particularly the French initiative and its requirements to be effective, including adherence to international law and UN resolutions with terms of reference, a binding timeframe and concrete steps to end the occupation and establish a sovereign and free Palestinian state.
Dr. Ashrawi provided a brief assessment of the current facts on the ground, Israel’s ongoing cruel siege of Gaza and the significance of relinking Gaza to the West Bank, Israel’s culture of violence, impunity and power politics, and the rift and the importance of reunification and holding Palestinian elections in the immediate future.
She also emphasized the need for accountability for Israel and protection for the Palestinian people, and she called for effective and courageous international solidarity in support of Palestinian self-determination, freedom and independence.
In addition, both parties discussed joint steps for the future in the context of continued Palestinian-South African cooperation and enhanced consultations on political and international issues of mutual interest.