Qureshi assures Palestinian FM of Pakistan's 'unequivocal support' in struggle for rights

Published March 23, 2022
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (L) meets his Palestinian counterpart, Dr Riyad al-Maliki, on the sidelines of the 48th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Islamabad on Wednesday. — Photo courtesy Shah Mahmood Qureshi Twitter
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (L) meets his Palestinian counterpart, Dr Riyad al-Maliki, on the sidelines of the 48th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Islamabad on Wednesday. — Photo courtesy Shah Mahmood Qureshi Twitter

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday held a meeting with Palestinian counterpart Dr Riyad al-Maliki and reaffirmed Pakistan's "unequivocal support" for the rights of Palestinians in their just struggle, according to a statement issued by the Foreign Office (FO).

The foreign ministers met on the sidelines of the 48th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which Pakistan is hosting in Islamabad. The two-day summit will end today.

According to the FO, Qureshi underscored during his meeting with Maliki that Islamabad's principled position on Palestine reflected the sentiments of the people of Pakistan.

"Maliki expressed gratitude for Pakistan’s unwavering support and principled stance on Palestine, including at the UN (United Nations) and OIC," the FO said, adding that the two foreign ministers also reviewed bilateral ties and exchanged views on regional and international issues.

Tweeting about the meeting later, Qureshi said Pakistan was pleased to continue to offer Palestinian students seats in its educational institutions and military courses.

"We will also offer positions in junior and advanced diplomatic courses in Pakistan to Palestinian diplomats," he added.

'We have failed Palestine'

Qureshi's assurance on Pakistan's stance on the Palestine issue comes a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan lamented while delivering his keynote address at the OIC summit that "we have failed both the Palestinians and the people of Kashmir".

"I am sad to say that we have been able to make no impact at all," he regretted during his speech. While the international law was on the side of the people of Palestine, he said, the international community never ensured that the people of Palestine were given their rights.

He further cautioned that unless the OIC was united on core issues, human rights abuses would keep happening, such as the "daylight robbery in Palestine".

"The only hope I have is that for the first time because of social media, there is awareness in Western countries. Much more than the OIC, it is the mobile phone and the spread of information of the injustices being done to the Palestinians ... at the moment, that is the best way to protect them, not us," the PM concluded.

On the occasion, Qureshi had also highlighted the plight of Palestinians, who he said were "reeling under abominable subjugation".

Qureshi's and PM Imran's statements reiterated Pakistan's stand on the decades-long Palestine issue.

Israel had captured east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Mideast war. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move not recognised by most of the international community. The Palestinians seek the West Bank and Gaza for a future independent state, with east Jerusalem as its capital.

Pakistan's longstanding stance on the issue has been that it supports a "just and solution of the Palestinian issue, through dialogue and negotiations, that leads to the realisation of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians, including the right of self-determination".

Over the years, Pakistan has consistently supported a two-state solution, as enshrined in the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions and reaffirmed support for the cause till Palestinians get their due rights.


With additional input from AP

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