"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
U.A.E. PLEDGES US$200 MILLION FOR GAZA REBUILDING
CAIRO: The U.A.E. announced on Sunday a donation of US$200 million for reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.
Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD), made the announcement during the Gaza Donor Conference in Cairo yesterday in the presence of representatives of 50 states and 20 international organisations. The meeting was opened by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
U.A.E. Foreign Minister, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in his address to the conference, said, 'We value and reiterate our absolute backing for the latest Egyptian initiative which calls for Israel and Palestinian factions to an immediate cease fire, end the state of violence and fighting and provide protection for civilians.'
In his address to the meeting, read on his behalf by Sheikha Lubna, the U.A.E. Foreign Minister thanked the governments of Egypt and Norway for hosting the international conference, adding that the convening of the conference underlines the sincere desire of brothers and friends to contribute to development and reconstruction projects and stability in Palestine.
'The U.A.E. expresses its denunciation of the continuous Israeli aggressive practices on the Occupied Palestinian Territories and its condemnation of the latest raids launched by Israeli forces on the Gaza Strip, killing and wounding many Palestinian people. The U.A.E. also renews its complete rejection of all acts of violence that result in the killing of civilians and calls for self-restraint and a halt to the policy of massive punishment and revenge. The U.A.E. also categorically decries the latest incursion by Israeli forces into the Aqsa Mosque and the provocation of peace advocates,' Sheikh Abdullah said.
H.H. affirmed that the U.A.E. strongly condemns the continuous Israeli violations of rights of the defenceless Palestinian people, calls for end to settlement activities and demands that the international community acts to enable the Palestinian people to gain their full rights to establish their free and independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital. He went on to say that the U.A.E. also emphasises the need for respect for and observance of the principles of international law and international humanitarian law for preserving security, peace and stability in the region.
H.H. added, 'We, through the podium of this important conference, reaffirm our absolute support for the rebuilding of Gaza so as to alleviate the suffering of its people and improve living conditions, in the Gaza Strip in particular and Palestine in general.' The U.A.E. has been and is still providing financial and material assistance to support the Palestinian people and strengthen Palestinian institutions in the occupied territories. In July 2014, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan instructed the allocation of Dh92 million (US$ 25m) in emergency humanitarian assistance to support the resistance of the Palestinian people during Israeli attacks which killed hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians. The U.A.E. also committed Dh153 million (US$ 41.6m) to the UNRWA in 2013. Last year, the U.A.E. offered assistance worth Dh340.1m (US$ 92.3m), making Palestine the fifth largest recipient of U.A.E. aid in the world.' Sheikh Abdullah emphasised that humanitarian social responsibility calls on all public and private community forces to participate in and contribute to efforts towards the development of Gaza. 'Through coordination of our roles in this mission, we can secure the essential needs of the Palestinian people.' 'In this context, we emphasise the importance of collective action in planning and then implementing a short-to-long strategy through which we can set the most significant priorities with the Palestinian government to identify the required projects and the serious applicable and concerted commitments among us to implement these developmental projects through which we seek to ensure efficient use of the required resources,' H.H. added.
'We again reiterate the U.A.E.'s commitment to participate and provide assistance for the rebuilding of Gaza and our support for the Palestinian people through the mobilisation of resources and the provision of requirements. We also renew our commitment to the Peace Initiative in the Middle East which urges all parties to work diligently towards the realisation of a comprehensive peace,' Sheikh Abdullah concluded.
On the margins of the conference, Sheikha Lubna met with Borge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, and discussed with him ways of coordinating stances regarding the Gaza reconstruction efforts. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –