Prince Saud Al Faisal Delivers a Speech
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, March 02. Prince Saud Al Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs, called on all Palestinians to overcome their internal differences, focus on the national interests and protect the national reconciliation.
He also called on them to resort to dialogue to resolve differences in order to preserve the unity of the Palestinian people and the independence of their sovereign decision, stressing that this is the only way for the Palestinian people to achieve their goals and aspirations and to win the support of the international community.
Addressing the International Conference for the Reconstruction of Gaza, Prince Saud conveyed the regards of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to Egyptian President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, thanking him for his country's efforts in supporting the Palestinian people and for organizing the conference.
He also expressed the Kingdom's happiness over reaching an Egypt-brokered solution for the inner-Palestinian dispute, emphasizing the Kingdom's readiness to effectively contribute to the development and prosperity of the Palestinian people.
In his statement before the conferees, the Foreign Minister said that Saudi Arabia, proceeding from its fixed principles in helping and supporting the Palestinian people, spared no effort to provide all possible government and popular support for the government and people of Palestine, either through bilateral frameworks or regional and international funds and development institutions.
Saudi effort in this regard is continuing, he said, adding that Saudi Arabia seriously and credibly meets all its obligations towards the Palestinian people, including the miscellaneous relief support dispatched after the recent Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip comprising medical supplies, transport of the injured in air ambulances to Saudi hospitals for treatment, and bearing patients' companions costs. In addition, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques directed launching a fundraiser to help relief Palestinians totaling 228 million Saudi Riyals so far.
Prince Saud Al-Faisal added that King Abdullah's announcement during the Economic, Development and Social Arab Summit in Kuwait of about one billion US Dollars in contribution to reconstruction efforts, is continuity to this firm principal approach.
This contribution will be submitted through the Saudi Development Fund (SDF) which will coordinate with other donor bodies under approved mechanisms. In this context, we hope that the GCC-launched Gaza Reconstruction Program would contribute to coordination and follow-up of execution by its funded projects.
He also stressed that the time has come for the help of Palestinian people in obtaining their right to live in peace and prosperity.
Should the international community intended to be serious about reaching a just and lasting peace, it has to provide all necessary backing to the peace process in order for the Palestinian Authority to effectively deal with the enormous burden placed on its shoulder, Prince Saud Al-Faisal stated.
He also added that in demonstration of Arab states' pursuit for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace, the Arab Peace Initiative was launched at the Arab summit of Beirut in 2002 only to receive no negative response from Israel which, as was stated in the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques speech at the Kuwait Economic Summit, should have realized that "peace will not be always available and that the Arab Peace Initiative will not remain on the table forever".
Prince Saud also said that the last barbaric and brutal Israeli aggression against Gaza Strip resulted in human tragedies as well as harsh economic conditions worsened by the Israeli government arrogance and unfair settlement policies which significantly contributed to the sufferings of the Palestinian people.
He added that the economic development in Palestine has been disrupted by these tragic conditions which resulted in the imposition of an unjust blockade and closure of crossings as well as the continuous confiscation of Palestinian land.
He said that such coercive actions have made peace a very far-fetched objective and led to meaningless negotiations in complete contrast with Oslo and Annapolis conferences.
Prince Saud al-Faisal also said that the situation in the occupied territories particularly in Gaza Strip can only be described as a mere humanitarian disaster citing the International Bank's statistics which show that the majority of the Palestinian people are living under poverty line with a severe deterioration on both social and economic levels.