RAMALLAH, Thursday, October 01, 2020 (WAFA) - Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad Malki today briefed his Finnish counterpart, Pekka Haavisto, on the latest developments in the occupied Palestinian territory, as well as the health condition with the novel Coronavirus pandemic.
During the meeting, which took place via video conference, Malki reviewed the Palestinian decision not to receive the clearance tax funds collected by Israel on the behalf of the Palestinian Authority according to Israeli conditions, stressing that it is a right for the Palestinian people and that no Israeli conditions or deductions will be accepted.
He said the Palestinian leadership seeks to hold elections as soon as an agreement is reached between all the political factions, starting with legislative elections to be followed by presidential elections.
The Foreign Minister said the US administration has pressured Arab countries to normalize relations with Israel in an attempt to win the votes of the American electorate, considering that normalization is a flagrant violation of the Arab Peace Initiative, which stipulated for normalization the complete Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab and Palestinian lands.
He also talked about the Israeli plan to annex occupied Palestinian land, which he said is being done without an official announcement to avoid international reactions.
Malki called for strengthening and developing bilateral relations between Palestine and Finland in various fields and at all levels, appreciating the support Finland provides to Palestine, most recently to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
For his part, Finnish Minister Pekka Haavisto affirmed his country's firm stance based on respecting the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, respecting international law, and standing against any violation that prejudices international conventions and laws.
He stressed that his country will continue to provide support to Palestinian institutions and increase the support provided to UNRWA.
He also praised the bilateral relations between Palestine and Finland, stressing his country and the European Union's interest in the planned elections in Palestine, and their willingness to provide all the support required for their success.