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  • 10:10 - 18 July 2019

Conference stresses refugee issue core of Palestinian cause

The 102nd round of the Conference of Supervisors of Palestinian Affairs in Arab Host Countries stressed today that the Palestinian refugee issue is the core of the Palestinian cause and solving it is the basis for achieving a just and comprehensive peace.

During the concluding session in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, the conference stressed the need to uphold the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and compensate them, rejecting all attempts aimed at settling them in other countries.

It also called for international support to renew the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in November 2019, urging donor countries to increase their financial contributions to support the reconstruction of Nahr El Bared refugee camp in Lebanon as soon as possible and to continue the work of the emergency program for camp residents in the areas of housing and health.

It also called upon the Arab countries which have not paid their financial pledges in accordance with the agreement reached at the 2008 Vienna Conference to do so immediately.

The Palestinian delegation was headed by the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) Refugee Affairs Department, Ahmad Abu Houli, the Director General of the PLO's Department of Refugee Affairs, Ahmed Hannoun, and the Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Cairo and its Permanent Representative to the Arab League, Diab al-Louh.

Representatives of the Arab countries hosting Palestinian refugees, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States, the Arab League's Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) also participated in the conference.

The conference condemned the campaign targeting UNRWA, especially the US administration’s campaign against the UN agency, which coincides with the renewal of the mandate granted to UNRWA in November.

It rejected any solution to the Palestinian refugee issue in isolation from UN Resolution 194 of 1949, which guarantees the right of return and compensation for all Palestinian refugees.

The conference also condemned the attempts by Israel to terminate the presence of UNRWA by closing all UNRWA centers and schools in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

The conference called on the international community to pressure Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza, open commercial crossings to and from the coastal enclave and allow the entry of necessary construction materials from the commercial crossings for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip following the continuous Israeli attacks.

It also appreciated the positions of countries that prohibit the products of the settlements and international organizations that refuse to deal with institutions established in Israeli settlements, especially sports clubs and universities.

The conference affirmed respect for the Palestinian national legitimacy headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, praising efforts exerted by President Abbas and Egypt to achieve national reconciliation, calling on them to continue these efforts.

The Conference urged the Palestinian factions to speed up the completion of national reconciliation in accordance with the Cairo Agreement signed in May 2011 and the mechanisms and understandings of the latest Cairo Agreement in 2017.

The conference raised its resolutions to the next meeting of the Council of Arab League at the level of Arab foreign ministers in September for approval.

 

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