South Africa will continue to campaign for independence of Palestine under 2-state solution, says government official
The State of Palestine remains a priority of South Africa’s current international diplomacy, South Africa’s minister of international relations and cooperation said Monday.
Addressing reporters in the capital Pretoria, Lindiwe Sisulu said the South African government will continue to campaign for the independence of Palestine under a two-state solution.
“We remain resolute that the people of Palestine will one day enjoy their independence,” she said.
Sisulu also marked the 14th anniversary of the funeral of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. He was buried on this day in 2004 in the city of Ramallah.
“Fourteen years after his death, the people of Palestine have yet to attain their independence,” Sisulu said.
Arafat enjoyed close relations with late South African President Nelson Mandela. South Africa established diplomatic relations with the state of Palestine in 1995, a year after the end of white minority rule.
The South African government has been critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, including the ongoing settlement and expansion policy in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
In May, Pretoria recalled its ambassador from Tel-Aviv after more than 50 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during protests condemning the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.
In its announcement, South Africa’s Foreign Ministry protested the “indiscriminate and grave” Israeli attacks.
The majority of South Africans also support the Palestinian struggle, drawing parallels to their experience under decades of apartheid to Palestinian suffering under the Israeli regime.