On the Occasion of the Palestinian Struggle Day, the OIC Secretary General Addresses Solidarity Message to President Arafat, and Messages to the United Nations Secretary General and the Swiss Foreign Minister

OIC Press Release

14 May 2001

On the Occasion of the Palestinian Struggle Day, the OIC Secretary General Addresses Solidarity Message to President Arafat, and Messages to the United Nations Secretary General and the Swiss Foreign Minister

Dr. Abdelouahed Belkeziz, Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, reiterated the firm stand of the OIC in support of the Palestinian cause and the just struggle of the Palestinian people for the realization of their inalienable rights, including their right to return, self-determination and the establishment of their independent State on their national soil with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

In a written message addressed to H.E. Yasser Arafat, President of the State of Palestine, on the occasion of the 53rd Anniversary of the Palestinian Struggle Day, the Secretary General said "This anniversary comes amidst the fearless struggle of the Palestinian people in defense of their right to freedom and independence while they are subjected to brutal Israeli aggression, occupation, a devastating war and genocide that jeopardise their lives, properties and human as well as national rights, and lead to regional and international instability. In view of this, Mr. President, and proceeding from my duties and obligation as Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Al-Quds and Palestine being the raison d’etre for its establishment, I will pursue my endeavors within the framework of joint and coordinated action with international and regional organizations, especially the United Nations, with the aim of putting an end to the continued aggression against the Palestinian people and ensuring the necessary international protection for them."

Within the context of the continued efforts deployed by the OIC for finding a solution to the escalating crisis in the occupied Palestinian territories, Dr. Abdelouahed Belkeziz addressed separate messages to Mr. Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General, and Mr. Joseph Deiss, Foreign Minister of Switzerland. He drew their attention to the gravity of the deteriorating conditions in the occupied Palestinian territories as a result of the escalating aggression and illegitimate practices undertaken by the Israeli occupation authorities against the Palestinian people. The Secretary General pointed out that this situation requires the international community to act immediately to stop the daily and sanguinary serial killings of the Palestinian people, halt Israeli aggressions and violations against Islamic and Christian holy places, ensure immediate necessary international protection for them, and guarantee observance of basic human standards as far as they are concerned.

Dr. Abdelouahed Belkeziz appealed to the UN Secretary General to seek international protection for the Palestinians in such away as to rescue the peace process and define the effective and convincing foundations for just, durable and comprehensive security and stability in the region, through which the interests of all parties could be ensured.

In his message to the Swiss Foreign Minister, the Secretary General requested Switzerland to take necessary and immediate measures for convening the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, in his country’s capacity as the depository State, given that this will constitute an important step toward addressing the alarming situation in the Palestinian territories.

The OIC Secretary General concluded his message to the Swiss Foreign Minister by reiterating the support of OIC Member States to the efforts exerted by Switzerland for convening the above-mentioned conference as well as its support for the resolutions adopted by the U.N. Human Rights Commission and those of the Extra-ordinary Session of the UN General Assembly.

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