Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim holds Discussions in Amman, Jordan, 27 April 2010.

As part of his five nation tour of the Middle East Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr. Ebrahim Ebrahim today, Wednesday 28 April 2010, held discussions with the Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry of Jordan, Mr. Mohamed Siraj at the Dead Sea Resort in Jordan, within the context of the Middle East peace process.

Deputy Minister Ebrahim concurred with Secretary General Siraj that the core issue in the Middle East region is the Israel-Palestine standoff and the urgent need for its resolution through the creation of a Palestinian State existing side by side with Israel, within secure and internationally recognized borders. Both sides condemned the continued settlement activities by the Israeli Government in the occupied Palestinian territories and the resultant untold suffering inflicted on the Palestinian people.

Furthermore, the two countries agreed that unity among the people of Palestinians remains imperative for the realization of a Palestine State and in this regard Secretary General Siraj indicated that South Africa could play a pivotal role given and its historic relations with some of the Palestinian factions, its history of conflict and the process of reconciliation that the country went through in recent times.

Secretary General Siraj commended the South African Government for the capacity building assistance provided to the people of Palestine and in this connection the two countries agreed to continue with capacity and institution building programme in Palestine and to investigate further ways to co-operate in this area.

Earlier in the day Deputy Minister Ebrahim and his delegation received a briefing at the Field Offices of the United Nations Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). In the briefing it emerged that Jordan is home to around two million Palestinian refugees which places a huge strain on the resources of UNRWA. The Director of UNRWA, Mr. Richard Cook commended the South African Government for its pledges to the Offices of the UN Coordinator for the alleviation of the suffering of the Palestinian people.

From Jordan Deputy Minister Ebrahim proceeded to Palestine by road where he attended a presentation by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - Occupied Palestinian territories based in Palestine, to acquaint himself with the political situation and the extent of the crisis in Palestine.

On Thursday 29 April Deputy Minister Ebrahim is expected to hold discussions with the Palestinian Prime Minister, Mr. Salam Fayad in Ramallah.

For more information contact Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Mr. Saul Molobi on 082 940 1647.

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag X152
Pretoria, 0001

28 April 2010.


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