Media Statement

11 October 2014

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane arrives in Cairo for the International Conference on Palestine

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane arrived this evening in Cairo, Egypt, where she is representing the South African Government in the International Donors’ Conference on Palestine, entitled “Reconstructing Gaza”, scheduled for Sunday, 12 October 2014.

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.

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.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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