Arab Foreign Ministers Reject Attempts Aimed at Reducing or Stopping Financial Support for UNRWA

Arab foreign ministers stressed Tuesday the importance of backing the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees to continue its “pivotal” role toward meeting the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian refugees.

The ministers made their remarks in a statement after a meeting held on the sidelines of the 150th session of the Arab League Foreign Ministerial Council in Cairo today.

The State of Qatar participated in the session with a delegation headed by HE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi.

They warned of the negative consequences resulting from undermining UNRWA’s efforts and services, which would eventually lead to escalate the crises in the Middle East region.

UNRWA’s continuance to carry out its duties toward more than five million Palestinian refugees inside its operation zones, is an “international, political, legal, and moral responsibility,” said the statement.

Keeping the UN agency active means respecting refugees’ right to live with dignity, as well as over 550,000 refugee children’s right to education, the Arab foreign ministers said.

UNRWA’s resumption of it humanitarian activities also affirms, the future of refugees is a final-status-issue that should be resolved via international legitimacy resolutions, including UN General Assembly Resolution 194 and the Arab peace initiative, they added.

They agreed to continue discussing the issue, in light of outcomes of the international meeting on UNRWA, held in Jordan in June, in coordination with Egypt and Palestine, and in cooperation with Sweden, Germany, Japan, EU, and UNRWA’s current Advisory Commission.

The ministers also stressed the importance of taking the necessary steps to build upon results of the extraordinary ministerial conference on UNRWA, held in Italy in March, in addition to the international efforts to secure a permanent financing for UNRWA.

They also valued all the global support to UNRWA, expressing their gratitude to all the countries that provided financial aid to the organization this year that help secure some $ 200 million as an additional finance, and reducing fiscal deficit from nearly $ 417 million to $ 217 million.

They stressed rejection of attempts aiming to reduce or stop financial support for UNRWA through systematic Israeli campaigns.

They warned against any decision taken by any country, including the United States, in this regard.

They expressed appreciation for efforts by member states hosting the Palestinian refugees and other members contributing to backing UNRWA including Kuwait and Qatar.

They called on member states to implement resolutions of the 2017 Jordan summit on increasing the capital of Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem funds by USD 500 million.

The council condemned Israel’s settlement activities on the occupied Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem.

It reiterated that such illegal settlements violate international law, calling for implementing the resolutions of all Arab summits on ending the Israeli blockade, rebuilding the Gaza Strip.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs