SA Hosts Palestine’s Dr. Malki, AU Under Pressure

South Africa on Friday hosted Dr. Riad Malki, Palestine minister of foreign affairs and expatriates, with both sides agreeing to “exert joint efforts” aimed at revoking Israel’s status as an observer member to the African Union.

Dr. Naledi Pandor, South Africa minister of international relations and cooperation, is hosting her Palestinian counterpart on his two-day official visit.

“Both sides agreed to exert joint efforts aimed at reversing the decision to admit Israel, the occupying power, as an observer member to the African Union,” said a joint statement issued on Friday.

The communique said Dr. Malki’s visit – at the invitation of Dr. Pandor – was aimed at further strengthening the relationship between South Africa and Palestine built on the foundation of long-standing solidarity, friendship, and cooperation.

The two ministers held substantive and fruitful discussions on matters of mutual interest, including an exchange of views on the current political, economic, and social situations in their respective countries, as well as regional and international issues.

They also exchanged views on the latest developments in the Middle East peace process.

Other matters discussed included marginalisation, racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance that continue to affect millions of people around the world.

The two sides expressed their concern over the escalation of instances of racial discrimination and hatred globally and urged all countries to implement the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action.

The Durban Declaration remains a clarion call for anti-racism advocacy and action worldwide.

On the troubles of occupied Palestine, South Africa reiterated its support for a two-state solution.

The two countries agreed that they would continue to work to achieve peace for the Palestinian people.

Palestinians endure countless injustices and an ongoing cycle of destruction, displacement, and dispossession, as well as the progressive fragmentation of their territory under Israeli occupation and its colonial settlement policy.

“These actions undermine the prospects for a two-state solution, which constitutes an imminent threat to regional and international peace and security,” said the joint communique.

“The occupation continues to deny the guaranteed, protected, and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”

Both sides acknowledged the geopolitical and economic significance of the Middle East to the region about peace, security, and development within the global community.

The hosts and the visiting Palestine delegation concurred that in the absence of sustainable peace in the region there could be no global peace, stability, and economic prosperity.

Security and stability in the Middle East were being undermined by the continued occupation of Palestinian territories and the aggressive actions of the Israeli regime.

South Africa and Palestine also called on the international community to further strengthen their support for the return of all parties to the negotiation table without pre-conditions.

Further, they demanded a legal and legitimate establishment of an independent, fully sovereign, and viable Palestinian with East Jerusalem as its capital as per the borders existing on the 4th of June 1967, in line with the internationally agreed parameters based on the relevant United Nations resolutions.

They also exchanged views on various regional and international issues, including recent developments in Afghanistan.

The South African side provided an overview of recent developments in Southern Africa and the continent and the role that South Africa was playing to promote peace, stability, and economic development of the African Continent.

Both sides stressed their strong belief in multilateralism and the centrality of the UN, including the security council, as essential in promoting effective and inclusive international cooperation in resolving the variety of global challenges including the peaceful settlement of conflicts.