Ashrawi meets with Slovenian officials and participates in the 2017 Bled Strategic Forum

PNN/ Ramallah/

PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi yesterday met with Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Slovenia Dr. Milan Brglez at the National Assembly Building in Ljubliana.

Dr. Ashrawi expressed her gratitude to Slovenia for its support of Palestine and promotion of Palestinian self-determination and human rights. She also called on the Slovenian Parliament to enact its recognition of Palestine.

The discussion focused on the latest political and regional developments, including recent American moves, Israel’s disastrous policies and violations and the urgent need for the European Union and international community at-large to hold Israel accountable, as well as Palestinian initiatives in the international arena.

At the end of the meeting, both parties reviewed Palestinian-Slovenian relations and emphasized the importance of continuing cooperation and coordination in various fields.

In addition, Dr. Ashrawi participated in the 2017 Bled Strategic Forum (BSF) September 5-6.  An important and annual initiative of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, the BSF is coordinated by both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and the Centre for European Perspective.

On September 5, Dr. Ashrawi gave a presentation that focused on Europe and the Southern Mediterranean and the European responsibility to engage collectively in the pursuit of peace.  She further described Israel as “the post-neo colonial state of colonialism and the longest-standing and only remaining military occupation that is flouting the global rule of law and the will of the international community,” and stressed, “This requires protection for the Palestinians and accountability for Israel.”

Given the Forum’s emphasis on multilateralism, Dr. Ashrawi affirmed, “There has to be oversight and accountability for Israel to end its sense of exceptionalism, policies of impunity and systematic violations of Palestinian rights and lives.

She also said, “Repeating the mantra of a “two-state solution” will not lead anywhere unless concrete steps are taken to end Israel’s land theft and settlement policies and to establish a truly contiguous and viable Palestinian state. There can be no lasting solution unless it is the embodiment of international law and international humanitarian law.”

During the two-day forum, Dr. Ashrawi was received by Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Viktor Erjavec, and she made use of the opportunity to network with several European prime ministers and foreign ministers, as well as representatives of international and multilateral organizations.

For the duration of her visit, Dr. Ashrawi was accompanied by Palestine’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations Offices in Vienna and Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Austria and the Republic of Slovenia H.E. Salah Abdel-Shafi.