Palestinian ambassador: Azerbaijan is an active member of Al-Quds group at OIC - INTERVIEW

At this moment there are 138 countries that recognize the State of Palestine

Baku. 20 July. REPORT.AZ/ Report News Agency presents an interview with the Ambassador of Palestine to Azerbaijan, Nassir Abdul Karim Abdul Rahim.

- How do you assess the bilateral ties between Azerbaijan and Palestine? In which spheres can we deepen our cooperation?

- The bilateral relations between the two countries are excellent, cooperation in the political sphere is very good, and in education; we have many Palestinian students studying in Azerbaijan. Still there is a lot need to be worked on, and a great mutual attention is put to develop and expand to new fields of cooperation especially in trade and cultural exchange, although in trade there is an appreciation of the fact that the occupation is an inhibiting factor in this regard. Capacity building programs could provide a good opportunity in training Palestinian civil servants and professionals to benefit from Azerbaijan’s experience as a young country that surmounted multiple challenges on its path of development.

- How do you see perspectives of cooperation in humanitarian area?

- Other than its firm political support of Palestinian independent state with Al-Quds is its capital, Azerbaijan has contributed aid after the last war in Gaza through a UN agency, providing relief to tens of thousands of Palestinians displaced from their destroyed houses as a result of Israel military bombardment.

- Azerbaijan is an active financial donor and member of Al-Guds Group within OIC. Are there any meetings are expected within this group and how do you assess the activity of Azerbaijan in helping to resolve the conflict between Palestine and Israel?

- Azerbaijan is an active member of the group and championed the cause of Al-Quds in spirit and deed, when Baku hosted a special meeting for the OIC ministers of foreign affairs in 2013 to support Palestine and Al-Quds, it contributed US$ 5 million to support the infrastructure and the Palestinian people in the holy city.

- At which stage is the process of resolving of Palestine-Israel conflict? Is there any light at the end of the tunnel?

- The Palestinians would be the happiest people on earth if resolving the conflict peacefully is near, but unfortunately the reality is otherwise, Israel, the occupying power maintaining the longest occupation in modern history; has a government composed of the most hard-line and extreme elements in the Israeli political spectrum, that refuses to recognize the right of the indigenous Palestinian people to have their own state, consider occupied Palestine as theirs and denying the Palestinians’ deep roots against the backdrop of international law and resolutions, and we all saw at the eve of the last Israeli elections in a moment of truth, unfiltered by political spin the true colors of the prime minister where hate and fear speech used to articulate the perpetuation of occupation and oppression of the Palestinians and inciting against a sector of Israeli society, that was condemned even from the Israeli opposition. By the way imagine when Mr. Netanyahu is considered the less extreme member of his government; you could draw your own conclusion.

Indeed there must be a light in the end of the tunnel, and peace can be achieved, but that light will be discernible only when there is a political will; if Israel recognizes that “Occupation” is the crux of the matter, and admit that ending the occupation of Palestine with its baggage of subjugation of a whole population and what it entails, ending illegal land grab and the demonization of a rich indigenous culture; and that peace is not only in Palestine interest but it is in Israel’s too and the region’s, where peoples and nations could live in peace and cooperation instead of war mongering and fear from the other. It is transparently obvious that peace based upon two states - solution predicated on 1967 borders will bring countless dividends, and would present a major blow and defeat to the malevolent nihilistic terrorism and savagery that sadly all of us became too familiar with and have been tormenting our world.

- The State of Palestine has been recognised by most of UN members. At the same time the flag of Palestine was raised at UN HQ. Can we expect more recognitions of Palestine by the leading countries of the world and international organizations?

- Yes, some countries have conveyed to us that they would do that, at this moment there are 138 countries that recognize the State of Palestine.

- What's the position of Palestine regarding Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?

- Palestine’s position is very clear and unequivocal in supporting Azerbaijan call for the implementation of international law through the adherence of UN resolutions related to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and to resolve the conflict peacefully as a consequence of a political process. 

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