ADIS ABABA, Sunday, February 10, 2019 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas called on the African Union and its member states to support the idea of an international peace conference and to participate in it and to send observers to the general elections that will be held soon in Palestine.
During his speech at the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday, Abbas warned against Israel’s attempts to change the character and identity of the city of Jerusalem, and its call on some states to transfer their embassies to it, which contravenes international law and Security Council resolutions, specifically resolution 478 of 1980.
The President said that those who encourage Israel to act as a state above international law are the American administration, which is no longer competent to take care of the negotiations alone after it proved its bias to the Israelis.
He emphasized that the struggle against colonialism, racism and injustice and the affirmation of the right of peoples to self-determination are common issues between Palestine and the peoples of the African continent, stressing his rejection of any American intervention in the affairs of any country, as it’s happening now in Venezuela.
The President stressed his rejection and condemnation of all forms of terrorism and extremism in the name of the religion that targets some African capitals, such as the one that took place in the Kenyan capital Nairobi last month.
Here follows the unofficial translation of the President’s speech:
In the name of Allah the Merciful
His Excellency President Paul Kagame,
Excellencies, Heads of Delegation,
Brother Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia
His Excellency Mr. Moussa Faki,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am happy to meet you again, thanking you for your kind invitation to attend this summit, which we wish to achieve success. I extend my thanks and congratulations to His Excellency President Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, on the success of his mission in the presidency of the African Union for the year 2018 and for the significant achievements made during his tenure.
We wish the forthcoming Egyptian presidency and President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi success in his 2019 tenure. We are confident of his success and wisdom in leading the African Union towards further development and prosperity.
We also congratulate all the African heads of states who were elected during 2018, wishing them success in serving their countries.
I would also like to thank Ethiopia for its role in the Security Council over the past two years and to thank Equatorial Guinea and Côte d‘Ivoire for their solidarity. We congratulate South Africa for joining the Security Council this year. We are confident of the positive role that it will play in supporting The Palestinian cause and all the issues of justice and fairness in Africa and the world.
Mr. President, Ladies, and Gentlemen, Heads of Delegations,
We applaud the acceleration of the achievements of African countries by raising the rates of economic growth, achieving the social well-being of your peoples, empowering women and young people, as well as your efforts in fighting terrorism and religious extremism.
We are gladly watching the democratic transformations, the accelerated pace of political, economic and social reform in the countries of the African continent, the predominance of dialogue on conflict and rivalry, and the peaceful and smooth transfer of power.
In this regard, we extend our warmest congratulations to the President of Ethiopia Sahle-Work Zewde, on her assumption of the presidency of Ethiopia and to the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who, through dialogue and partnership with all, leads a comprehensive reform movement encompassing all sectors, including the empowerment of women in political life, which foretells a promising and bright future for Ethiopia and its friendly people.
The Rwandan experience in empowering women is not to be forgotten here. Women occupy more than half of the seats in the parliament of Rwanda and participate actively in the economic sector and the business world.
We also highly appreciate the recent conclusion of the Ethiopian-Eritrean conflict through the initiative, dialogue
On this occasion, we reject and condemn all forms of terrorism and extremism in the name of the religion that targets some African capitals, such as the one that took place in the Kenyan capital Nairobi last month. We are always ready to cooperate with your friendly countries in combating all forms of terrorism and extremism, through the transfer of expertise and effective and direct cooperation.
Mr. President, Ladies, and Gentlemen, Heads of Delegations,
We would like to assure you of the determination of the State of Palestine to provide all its potential and expertise not only at the bilateral level but also as the Chairman of the Group of 77 and China that includes 134 countries, including those of your . During our presidency, we will work to defend the interests of its members, primarily African countries, and other regional, sectoral or geographic groups in accordance with our 2019 agenda.
We will also work in the framework of solidarity, partnership and work with the countries of the South and the North, and within the framework of triangular cooperation in the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Plan and Programs. These programs are in line with the priorities of the African Group, foremost of which is the eradication of poverty and diseases, access to water, quality of education and health, gender equality, increasing the immunity of the societies, addressing climate change and spreading sustainable energy production; as well as the challenges that directly affect the economy and development, especially those relating to refugees, migrants, displaced persons and the homeless people arbitrarily, as part of the slogan of solidarity for development.
Mr. President, Ladies
I would like to reiterate appreciation to your and its member states for your supportive positions with our just cause, especially in international forums.
African countries and have always been and still the best partner in fate. We hope that our partnership will continue to flourish. In our struggle today for liberation and independence, we look forward to your continued steadfastness in your positions and more support for our Palestinian cause in the coming period in order for Palestine to gain a full UN membership, the international protection of our people, the renunciation of the Israeli occupation of the land of the State of Palestine, the condemnation of its racist colonial policies and practices, the terror of the settlers and the incursions into the Christian and Islamic holy places, especially the daily attacks and constant threats against al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.
Such practices are the reason we can’t achieve independence despite the fact that we continue building our institutions in accordance with the law, spreading
Those who encourage Israel to act as a state above international law are the American administration, which is no longer competent to take care of the negotiations alone after it proved its bias to the Israelis, and after the illegal measures it has taken against us, to transfer its embassy and recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to cut off its aid to UNRWA. And because we believe in negotiations as the only way to peace between us and the Israelis, and with the full American alignment of the occupying state, at the expense of our legitimate rights, we call for the convening of an international conference and the formation of a multilateral mechanism to take care of any future negotiations.
Here I would like to emphasize our rejection of any American intervention in the affairs of any country, as it’s happening now in Venezuela.
In this regard, we call on the African Union and its member states to support and participate in the international conference to take care of the peace process. As well as in sending observers to the general elections that we are organizing soon in Palestine and with the participation of our people in the city of East Jerusalem, first, and then in the Gaza Strip, and then in the West Bank. It’s the capital of our Palestinian state, which we want to be open to all believers and followers of heavenly religions.
We are wary of Israel‘s attempts to change the character and identity of the city of Jerusalem, and its call on some states to transfer their embassies to it, which contravenes international law and Security Council resolutions, specifically resolution 478 of 1980.
Mr. President, ladies, and gentlemen,
We are proud of the depth and strength of the historic relations between Palestine and its people in Africa and its peoples. The struggle against colonialism, racism and injustice and the affirmation of the right of peoples to self-determination are common issues between Palestine and the peoples of the African continent. We count on your steadfastness in your noble positions on the Palestinian cause, and your defense of these values, especially in view of the exposure of the Palestinian cause to conspiracies aimed at jumping from the rights of our people and the liquidation of its just cause.
In conclusion, I thank you for your honest and sincere positions to enable our people to gain their freedom and independence on their national soil, hoping that
A strong Africa is
Peace be upon you.