Media Statement

10 October 2014

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane to participate in the Cairo Conference on Palestine

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will represent the South African Government in the International Donors’ Conference on Palestine, entitled “Reconstructing Gaza”, scheduled for Sunday, 12 October 2014, in Cairo, Egypt.

The Governments of Egypt and Norway, together with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, will host the conference, which is aimed at securing financial pledges and other contributions required for reconstructing the Gaza Strip following 50 days of Israeli bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza from 08 July to 26 August 2014, which resulted in large-scale human suffering, displacement and unprecedented material destruction that has changed the landscape of the entire Gaza Strip.

International support is thus required for rebuilding Gaza within the framework of longer-term sustainable development in Palestine and with a view to providing a viable political landscape for the two-state solution to the conflict.

South Africa has pledged US$1 million towards humanitarian assistance in Gaza. These funds will be transferred to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

South Africa has recognised the State of Palestine since 1995. South Africa supports international efforts aimed at the establishment of a viable Palestinian State, existing side by side in peace with Israel within internationally recognized borders, based on those existing on 4 June 1967, prior to the outbreak of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

As part of South Africa’s contribution to international diplomatic efforts towards the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, President Jacob Zuma appointed former Minister Dr Zola Skweyiya and former Deputy Minister Mr Aziz Pahad as Special Envoys to the Middle East.  The Special Envoys have to date, travelled to Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to convey the President’s message of concern.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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