JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday addressed the heads of state of more than 40 African nations assembled at the 24th annual summit of the African Union.
During his remarks, which came on the first day of the conference being held in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, Abbas expressed his appreciation for the support Palestine has received over the years from African states.
“We cherish the friendship we have with the countries and peoples of Africa who strongly support the hopes of Palestinians and empower them to gain their freedom,” he told the assembly.
“We are aware that Africa that has been supporting our people’s rights internationally in recent decades and will continue to show its support and solidarity,” he said, adding that Palestine is “fully prepared to cooperate and provide human expertise and capacities that are capable of contributing and sharing expertise with you.”
Abbas said that the continuation of the Israeli occupation shows the failure of the international community to uphold its responsibilities towards ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine and stressed that Israel’s policies could lead to the end of any hope for peace and the two-state solution.
He also condemned the recent attacks on Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai peninsula and expressed support for Egypt’s “war against terrorism.”
Abbas arrived in the Ethiopian capital on Thursday to represent Palestine, which is an observer state in the African Union.
The Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Riyad al-Malki, the spokesperson for the presidency, Nabil Abu Rdeineh, adviser for diplomatic affairs, Majdi al-Khaldi, ambassador to Tunisia Salman al-Harfi, and the Palestinian ambassador to Ethiopia, Zuheir al-Shan, all escorted the president during the visit.
The summit is being held for two days under the theme “Women’s Empowerment Year and Africa Development for the concretisation of Agenda 2063.”