Jubeir: ‘Jerusalem Summit’ confirms Arab world’s dedication to Palestinian cause

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said that naming this year’s Arab League Summit also as the “Jerusalem Summit” was due to the strong desire to promote the Palestinian cause. (SPA)
Updated 16 April 2018
0

Jubeir: ‘Jerusalem Summit’ confirms Arab world’s dedication to Palestinian cause

  • Jubeir said that the Palestinian people have suffered the longest conflict in the region, which has led into the displacement of millions
  • In response to the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he said “We have declared our clear position to the United States that East Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Palestine”

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said that naming this year’s Arab League Summit also as the “Jerusalem Summit” was due to the strong desire to promote the Palestinian cause, which was a central and fundamental issue for Arabs.

In a joint press conference with Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit following the conclusion of the summit, Jubeir said: “The Arab and Islamic countries feel the need to highlight this issue in light of the urgent need to help the Palestinians to obtain their legitimate rights, foremost of which is the establishment of their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

Jubeir said that the Palestinian people have suffered the longest conflict in the region, which has led into the displacement of millions. He emphasized the need for Palestinians to have their own state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, so that they can live a decent life and build their country, adding that Arab and Islamic nations feel the pain of their Palestinian brothers.

“There is a desire to highlight the issue on the agenda of the Arab League and in the mind of the Arab and Islamic world, and in light of the conflicts and crises witnessed by the Arab world, we must not forget that it is the fundamental issue,” Jubeir said, and added that Saudi Arabia’s position was permanent and firm on the Palestinian issue and remained supportive on the peace initiative announced in 2002.

In response to the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he said: “We have declared our clear position to the United States that East Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Palestine and that no decision should be taken that violates this balance in this region.”

However, Jubeir reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s “close relations” with the US.

“We have a strategic relationship and are stronger now. As friends, we continue dialogue and understanding on matters that we disagree with the administration of US President Donald Trump and this administration has also been positive in seeking help and reaching a dialogue on this matter.”

The foreign minister pointed out Saudi Arabia’s support to Palestine and contributions to achieving a decent life for the Palestinian people and enabling the Palestinian government to strengthen its economy.

During the 29th Arab League summit, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman announced that the Kingdom will donate $150 million to the Endowment Support Program in Jerusalem and $50 million to support the UNRWA program.

Meanwhile, Jubeir said that the Arab summit supported the operation and the military strike carried out by the United States in cooperation with Britain and France on Syrian regime sites that carried out attacks against unarmed Syrian civilians through the use of weapons containing poison gas banned internationally.

He stressed the position of the Member States of the League of Arab States and the belief that stability in Syria would only be achieved through a peaceful solution based on the Geneva Declaration, Security Council resolution 2254 and the Riyadh II Conference of the Syrian opposition held in November last year.


Hundreds of jobs axed in PLO cutback

Updated 17 min 2 sec ago
0

Hundreds of jobs axed in PLO cutback

  • Among the departments to be axed from the PLO are social affairs, military, Jerusalem, sports, youth and the diaspora
  • Most of the PNC’s budget goes to pay salaries to staff who have little work to do

AMMAN: Hundreds of staff who are paid salaries but do little work will lose their jobs in a major downsizing of the Palestine Liberation Organization. 

The restructuring is aimed at ending the duplication of tasks by the PLO and the Palestinian government, and reducing the size of the 700-member Palestine National Council, which is expected to lose half its staff and half its budget. 

Among the departments to be axed from the PLO are social affairs, military, Jerusalem, sports, youth and the diaspora. Those that deal with refugees, planning, culture, media and the national fund will remain.

“Why do we need staff and offices in the PLO for such areas as social affairs and education, when we have major ministries in the government that are focusing on these areas?” Hanna Amireh, a member of the PLO’s executive committee, told Arab News. 

“When the PLO was responsible for all Palestinian affairs, this made sense, but now we have a government with relevant ministries and it doesn’t make sense to have such duplication.”

Most PLO staff belong to the various factions that make up the organization, and have been on the payroll for many years. This arrangement allowed these factions to provide jobs for their members. 

PLO sources told Arab News that the restructuring would also affect the Palestine National Council. The PNC holds occasional extraordinary meetings, but its full regular session scheduled for April 30 will be the first for 22 years.

Most of the PNC’s budget goes to pay salaries to staff who have little work to do. “The membership of the PNC will have to be cut in half, as will its budget,” a PLO source said. 

Najeeb Qaddoumi, a PNC member and senior Fatah activist in Jordan, confirmed that a restructuring would take place on April 30 but denied that it would be downsizing. “Some departments might be eliminated and others might be boosted,” he said.

Ali Qleibo, an artist, author and lecturer at Al Quds University, said the PLO had “exhausted its role since Lebanon and has caused chaos in the land.”

The downsizing will surprise analysts who had expected the Palestinians to revitalize the PLO after the failure of the peace process and the lack of trust in the Palestinian Authority.