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26 Nov, 2014

Palestinian Statehood Would “Contribute to Elimination of Violence, Extremism and Terrorism” – President

PRETORIA, November 26, 2014 – (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas stated Wednesday that resolving the Palestinian question would contribute to the eradication of violence, religious extremism and terrorism.

Abbas made these remarks during a joint press conference with his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma in Pretoria, the executive de facto national South African capital, where he started a three-day official visit.

“Solving the Palestinian question would strip extremists of their pretexts and contribute to the eradication of violence, religious extremism and terrorism inflicted upon the region and the whole world. In order for the international coalition to successfully confront terrorism, it should first solve the Palestinian question that has remained unresolved for almost seven decades,” said Abbas during the press conference.

Abbas also held a closed meeting with Zuma, where they touched upon the latest developments in the occupied Palestinian Territory and obstacles to peace-making, namely Israeli illegal settlement construction, segregation wall, and its apartheid practices. They also touched upon the recent tensions, especially in occupied East Jerusalem, and means to develop bilateral relations.

Abbas conferred upon Zuma the Star of Palestine, while he was awarded the Order of the Companions of OR Tambo in Gold for his contribution “in the struggle against injustice and his unwavering support for the South African liberation movement during the fight against apartheid.”

During the press conference that followed the meeting, Abbas affirmed that his leadership would continue their efforts to “lay the foundations of security and peace for Palestine, the region and the whole world” and commended Zuma for his efforts to mobilize support across the African Union and Non-Aligned States in order to help translate peace into a reality.

Abbas affirmed that his leadership is proceeding with the submission of the draft resolution to the UN Security Council in order to set a deadline to end the Israeli occupation of the occupied State of Palestine’s territory.

As part of the visit, two agreements were signed between the Palestinian and South African governments; Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki signed with South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Nkoana-Mashabane an agreement on the establishment of a joint commission of cooperation. He also signed with South African Minister of Education and Training B Nzimande an agreement on higher education and training.

On His part, Jacob Zuma pledged his countries utmost support for the Palestinian people, stating that his country is working on recruiting the ‘entire African continent’ support for the Palestinian issue.

He cited the late great leader Nelson Mandela as saying, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”