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UAE renews support to Palestinian cause

posted on 03/03/2009: 875 views



The United Arab Emirates has reiterated its firm stand in support to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and its President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Liberation Movement (PLO) as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and to the Palestinian government and its head Dr Salam Fayad, in their struggle to regain the Palestinian people's rights.

This came during a speech delivered by Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan before the second international conference for support of the Palestinian economy and reconstruction of Gaza strip, started yesterday in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Sheikh Abdullah thanked President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak of Egypt for inviting him to this international gathering "which will reflect on the stability in the Middle East and impact the process aimed at finding a just solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict." Sheikh Abdullah also expressed appreciation to the Egyptian efforts for a truce and its endeavours to unify the Palestinian ranks.

"The record turnout for this conference will certainly have a positive impact on the Palestinian people in terms of regaining their confidence in the international community, easing the stalemate situation and perpetuating the truce. Despite their daily agonies, the conference gives hope to the Palestinians in achieving national reconciliation and setting up their independent state," he said.

He added that the conference still posed a serious challenge "that we need to overcome by pooling efforts and coordinating stands to contain fallout on Gaza and the region at large." "The United Arab Emirates has, and will always be firm on its stand in support to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and its President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Liberation Movement (PLO) as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and to the Palestinian government and its head Dr Salam Fayad, in their struggle to regain the Palestinian people's rights."

"My country will never hesitate in offering political, economic and humanitarian support to the Palestinian cause. We have already committed to provide direct aid to the Palestinian people to help alleviate the extreme conditions there." Sheikh Abdullah said the UAE offered over USD 3 billion in aid to the Palestinians, including funding of infrastructure, housing, hospitals and schools projects. The country also donated USD 174 million during recent events in Gaza.

"This donation will be through the Gaza reconstruction programme, announced in Riyadh yesterday by the GCC countries." Sheikh Abdullah expressed the hope that the conference will help bring about peace and prosperity to the Palestinian people and to the people of the region.

On the fringe of the conference, Sheikh Abdullah met with Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen).

During the meeting, they discussed efforts being made to consolidate the truce in the Palestinian territories, lifting the blockade on and reconstruction efforts in Gaza.

A reliable Palestinian source told WAM that the Palestinian President expressed profound gratitude to Sheikh Abdullah for the UAE's unflinching support for the Palestinian cause and people. It said Sheikh Abdullah and Abu Mazen discussed developments in the Palestinian territories, in general and the reconstruction of Gaza, in particular.

Afterwards, Sheikh Abdullah discussed with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Al Siniora the international efforts for reconstruction of Gaza, lifting the siege on the strip and reviving the peace process. Also discussed was the situation in Lebanon, as well as regional developments.

Similar topics were discussed during Sheikh Abdullah's meeting with the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Later, Sheikh Abdullah also met yesterday separately with foreign ministers of Norway, Italy, Turkey and Canada.

The meetings reviewed the international efforts for rebuilding Gaza, lifting the siege on it and ways of reviving the Middle East peace process. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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