Dec 14, 06 9:04pm
Malaysia today appealed for the Palestinian people to unite or risk losing their dream of statehood, as it prepared to host a United Nations meeting on their plight.
The UN’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will join some 285 government officials and 200 representatives from civil society groups for the three-day talks here.
“I made it clear to the committee that we must also call for the unity and cohesiveness of the Palestinian people. They must get together and set aside their differences,” said Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar.
“Otherwise this is a weak point and the dream of seeing the birth of their state will not be achieved,” he said.
Syed Hamid said that the UN committee, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and Malaysia shared frustration at the lack of progress by the Mideast Quartet sponsoring the region’s peace process.
The Quartet — comprised of the EU, the United States, Russia and the United Nations – in 2003 unveiled a “roadmap” for peace, which calls for the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but the plan has been stalled.
Malaysia is the current chair of the 57-nation OIC, the world’s largest Muslim grouping.
The officials at the talks are mostly foreign ministry officials from predominantly Muslim countries but there are also representatives from China, Africa and Ireland, as well as two Palestinian officials.