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3 May, 2015

News Analysis: Palestinians count on Asian-African conference to internationalize their cause

RAMALLAH, April 15 (Xinhua) — The Palestinians are facing severe difficulties and they are eager to see their hope of establishing an independent state on the territories Israel occupied in 1967 come true, according to analysts and observers.

Analysts say the Palestinian participation in the upcoming Asian-African Conference scheduled to convene in Indonesia on April 19 would contribute to achieving the goal of “internationalizing the Palestinian cause” and establishing an independent state.

They also believe that depending on the historic good ties between Palestinians and so many African and Asian countries, Palestinians “still count on keeping the support of these states and countries to their cause and intensify their efforts to resubmit their bids of joining more international agencies and treaties.”


In commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Asian-African Conference and the 10th anniversary of the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP), Indonesia will host a series of high level events under the theme “Strengthening South-South Cooperation to Promote World Peace and Prosperity” in Jakarta and Bandung on April 19-24, 2015.

It is expected, according to observers, that the summit will emphasize the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which were initiated in 1954 by leaders of China, India and Myanmar.

The principles stand for mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.

Mazen Shameya, Palestine’s assistant foreign minister for Asia, Africa and Australia affairs, told Xinhua that “attending the summit in Jakarta is an opportunity to reiterate the principles of coexistence founded by the Asian-African Conference and to convey the principles to the Middle East region which has been passing through crises, wars and instability.”

He said that the Jakarta summit “is held as the Palestinian cause is passing through complicated circumstances amid an absence of a political future, especially after the results of the Israeli elections.”

He added that when the right-wing Likud Party of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won the parliamentary elections in March, the situation for the Palestinians had become more complicated. Netanyahu has once said that if he won, there would be no Palestinian state.

“All of us are exerting intensive efforts to gain the largest international support for our Palestinian cause in order to prepare again to submit a draft resolution to the UN Security Council for ending the Israeli occupation. During the summit in Jakarta, we will focus on this goal,” said Shameya.


Three years ago, the Palestinians launched a diplomatic campaign, which aimed at gaining the largest international support for the Palestinian cause. The first step was to promote the Palestinian diplomatic representation in the UN to a non-member observer state in 2012.

Signing on joining international treaties and agencies in late December last year, mainly the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), was the second step. The Palestinians say that the campaign was the alternative to the failure of the Middle East peace process.

However, the Security Council failed to pass a draft resolution backed by Arab states, which called on setting a timetable to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories within three years.

Ahmed Rafiq Awad, political science professor at al-Quds University in the West bank, told Xinhua that the summit in Jakarta “is an important international event that may serve the just Palestinian cause, which always needs the support of the international community.”

“The Palestinians’ fair demand of gaining independence and establishing a Palestinian state should gain the largest ever support in the world,” said Awad, adding that “the Palestinians are also in need for creating political and economical coalitions in Asia and Africa to create the needed balance for the Palestinians.”

Samer Anabtawi, political analyst in the West Bank, said that Jakarta summit “is held amid crucial circumstances the Palestinian cause is passing through and amid the current Arab retreat of backing the Palestinian cause, besides Israel’s stubbornness towards peace and the two-state principle.”

“Certainly the Asian and African efforts to support the Palestinian cause will also back the other progressed international positions that back the honest implementation of the international resolutions that lead to establishing the Palestinian state on the 1967 territories.”

Delegates from 109 Asian and African countries, 16 observer countries, and 25 international organizations are invited to participate.

The conference is aimed to bridge Asian and African nations to stronger partnership and to share experiences in enhancing both regions’ economic development.

It is also an opportunity to discuss solutions to overcome common challenges through strengthening South-South cooperation.