Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi to resign, calls for Palestinian political reforms

Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi to resign, calls for Palestinian political reforms
Hanan Ashrawi did not give a reason for her resignation. (AFP/File)
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Updated 09 December 2020

Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi to resign, calls for Palestinian political reforms

Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi to resign, calls for Palestinian political reforms
  • Veteran negotiator says Palestinian political system needs renewal
  • Ashrawi, 74, did not give a reason for her resignation

RAMALLAH: Veteran Palestinian negotiator and women’s rights advocate Hanan Ashrawi said on Wednesday she would quit her senior post in the Palestine Liberation Organization at the end of 2020, and called for political reforms.
Ashrawi, 74, did not give a reason for her resignation in a statement announcing the move. But she said that the PLO’s Executive Committee, on which she served, had been marginalized “and from decision-making.”
The 15-member committee, the most senior body of the PLO, is headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and is not often convened by the 85-year-old leader.
“The Palestinian political system needs renewal and reinvigoration with the inclusion of youth, women and additional qualified professionals,” Ashrawi said in her statement.
“I believe it is time to carry out the required reform and to activate the PLO in a manner that restores its standing and role.”
Ashrawi said she had tendered her resignation to Abbas, who also heads the Palestinian Authority (PA) that administers limited self-rule in the occupied West Bank under interim peace deals with Israel.
Ashrawi said Abbas deferred a decision on whether to accept her resignation to the PLO’s Central Council.
Critics accuse Abbas of allowing Palestinian political institutions to stagnate. There have been no presidential or parliamentary elections for the PA for more than a decade.
Her negotiating days date back to the earliest public, US-mediated talks with Israel in 1991 at the Madrid Conference, where as PLO spokeswoman she articulated the Palestinian quest for statehood to the world.
Following the signing of the Oslo Accords with Israel in 1993, Ashrawi served in the cabinet of the newly-formed Palestinian Authority.
A champion of women’s rights, Ashrawi was the first woman elected to the Executive Committee in 2009. She was re-elected to the group in 2018 and has headed its Department of Public Diplomacy and Policy.


UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships

UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships
Updated 19 January 2021

UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships

UAE, Cyprus FMs discuss Mediterranean tensions and strategic partnerships
  • The two ministers also discussed the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Both sides discussed ways of strengthening ties in multiple sectors, including in parliamentary areasboth sides discussed ways of strengthening ties in multiple sectors, including in parliamentary areas

DUBAI: The UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs discussed the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and ways of ensuring security and stability in the region with his Cypriot counterpart on Monday,.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan reviewed the prospects of advancing relations with Cyprus in a meeting in Abu Dhabi with Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, UAE state news agency WAM reported.
The two ministers also discussed the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of enhancing international cooperation to ensure fair and equitable access to the vaccine for every country in the world.
Christodoulides praised the UAE’s significant overall efforts to counter the coronavirus pandemic and the efficiency of its adopted measures in mitigating the economic and social effects of the crisis.
During his visit to the UAE, the Cypriot minister also met with the Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC), Saqr Ghobash, accompanied with the Ambassador of Cyprus to the UAE, Yannis Michaelides.
During the meeting, both sides discussed ways of strengthening ties in multiple sectors, including in parliamentary areas.
Ghobash said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on their parliamentary cooperation is required, in addition to reinforcing the role of joint parliamentary friendship committees.
A parliamentary friendship committee between the two countries will hold a meeting in the first quarter of 2021, Ghobash said, and stressed the importance of improving their coordination during global parliamentary events.
Christodoulides said that the UAE was a leading regional and international stature, noting that it is a strategic partner of his country.
He also conveyed the invitation of the President of the House of Representatives of Cyprus to Ghobash to visit Cyprus as head of a parliamentary delegation, to discuss ways of reinforcing their parliamentary ties.