Home Archive 01/December/2016 03:28 PM

President Abbas’ speech sets the foundation for independence

"" President Mahmoud Abbas (center) speaking at the Fatah seventh congress. WAFA photo by Osama Falah.

RAMALLAH, December 1, 2016 (WAFA) - President Mahmoud Abbas stressed in his address at Fatah conference on Wednesday evening that the movement has not and will not abandon its principles, spirit, identity and independent decision, and it will continue its march with confidence until it realizes the dream of the Palestinian people to freedom, statehood and independence.

He said he was confident the Fatah’s seventh conference will strengthen the foundation of the movement, and fortify its internal front and the march of the Palestinian people toward achieving their national goals.

Abbas spoke about Fatah’s most significant achievements over the past 50 years of struggle, stressing that Fatah was and still is one of the most prominent landmarks in the contemporary Palestinian history and a model of steadfastness and challenge not only on the national level but also at the level of the whole world.

He went over the role of the late Ahmad Shukairy, who initiated the convening of the first Arab-Palestinian conference in Jerusalem in 1964, and the establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and his role in preserving the Palestinian national identity.

Abbas highlighted the leadership role of the late leader, Yasser Arafat, in the PLO and how he was able to establish it as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, as well as his role in the declaration of independence in Algiers in 1988, the return of the organization‘s leadership and forces to the homeland and the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority and its institutions.

The president spoke about the achievements despite the obstacles and difficulties, most notably the vote by 138 member state of the United Nations General Assembly in favor of raising the status of Palestine to Observer State and to join as a full member of the dozens of treaties and international bodies, including UNESCO, the International Criminal Court, the four Geneva Convention agreements, and raising the flag of Palestine at the United Nations building in official ceremonies. He stressed that work will continue until Palestine gains full and permanent membership at the United Nations.

The president reviewed the latest developments in the political process, and stressed the importance of convening the international peace conference before the end of this year.

He renewed his rejection of interim solutions and the state with provisional borders as well as the proposal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, stressing that the implementation of the Arab peace initiative must be done without modification and that peace cannot prevail in the region without a solution to the Palestinian issue first.

The president stressed that he will continue to seek the support of Arab and friendly countries to work on a draft resolution against the settlements and for full membership in the United Nations.

He stressed that recognition of the state of Israel is not for free and it must be reciprocated, stressing that the states that recognize the two-state solution must also recognize the two states and not a single state.

He said Israel has brought him to believe that it is not serious about any political process conducted through bilateral and direct negotiations.

Regarding Jerusalem, the president reiterated the position that East Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Palestine, and he said: "We want it to be open for worship for the followers of the three monotheistic religions."

On the infamous Balfour Declaration, the president said: "We have started a dialogue with the British government to declare its apology for making such a promise and repair the damage done to our people, resources and our nation, with the need for Britain to recognize the state of Palestine."

About reconciliation and end to the internal division, the president stressed that national unity is the safety valve for our cause. He said he will continue to work wholeheartedly to build and strengthen the home front and end the despised divisions created by the Hamas coup in 2007.

He called on Hamas to end the division through the gate of national democracy and with the participation of all factions of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Islamic Jihad through holding presidential and legislative elections, “which we see as the shortest way to achieve national unity,” as he put it.

The president announced that after the completion of the seventh Fatah conference, consultations will start with PLO members and other national groups to convene a session of the Palestinian National Council as soon as possible in order to strengthen and boost the role of the PLO.

The President stressed that the government of national reconciliation will continue in the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, lifting the blockade and to alleviate the suffering and the hardships of people there despite the difficulties, obstacles, scarcity of resources, financial difficulties and Israeli obstacles.

He reiterated the PLO position of none interfere in the internal affairs of any country. He said, “We do not interfere in the affairs of others, and we hope that everyone appreciates the special status of our situation by respecting the independence of the Palestinian national decision, which we achieved with huge sacrifices.”

Abbas stressed that the Palestinian refugees residing in the sisterly and friendly countries were guests in these countries until their return to their homeland, and that they do not interfere in their internal affairs.

He expressed hope that Syria, Libya, Yemen and Iraq will regain security, safety and stability to ensure the unity of their land and their people and enhance the resilience of the Arab nations in the face of the challenges.

The president gave a summary of the most important achievements Fatah had contributed to and helped make successful since the sixth congress in the areas of international relations, institution-building, good governance, strengthening the national economy, the work of the Investment Fund, the contribution of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR), real estate investment, development of the agriculture sector, high technology and innovation, creativity and excellence, financial management and its impact on the economy, the financial sector and banks, the development of water resources, building a strong and sustainable social infrastructure, health, education, higher education, empowerment of women, support for sports and youth, security, peaceful and popular resistance, standing in the face of the wall and settlements, facilitating the lives of the people and securing their movement and travel under the control of the Israeli occupation forces, taking care of the families of martyrs, prisoners, released prisoners and wounded, supporting people with special needs, support for the impoverished, social security, and development of tourism, cultural heritage, theater, the official media and the judiciary.

He also submitted a proposal to lay the foundation of the national program, which is also Fatah’s program, to complete the building of state institutions on the road toward independence.

M.K.

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