For the first time in the history of the relations between the two countries, the state of Palestine and the kingdom of LESOTHO come to an agreement on a program of development cooperation.
As part of enhancing the role of the Palestinian International Cooperation Agency (PICA) in the African continent, promoting greater solidarity with the Palestinian cause, and developing bilateral relations between the two countries, a cooperation program between the State of Palestine and the Kingdom of Lesotho in the fields of health and agriculture was agreed upon in the capital Maseru. In accordance with the agreement, PICA will implement important development programs in the region using Palestinian expertise.
Based on the instructions of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Dr. Riyad Al-Malki, a Palestinian delegation made a working visit to the Kingdom of Lesotho, which is considered as the first of its kind. The Palestinian delegation included Ambassador Hashem Dajani, ambassador of the State of Palestine to South Africa and non-resident of the Kingdom of Lesotho and Director General of the Palestinian International Cooperation Agency, Imad Al-Zuhairi.
Imad Al-Zuhairi, PICA Director General, considered the meetings that the Palestinian delegation held fruitful, constructive and would lead to the implementation of a development program that benefits both parties and contributes to the enhancement and development of relations between them, within the framework of developing south-south cooperation goals.
Al-Zuhairi added that the development program, which will be implemented in June, is considered as a contribution from the State of Palestine to the achievement of the international development goals 2030. He reiterated the importance of carrying out bilateral and tripartite cooperation programs, especially in the African continent. Such programs are in the interest of the Palestinian cause and support Palestine’s initiatives in international forums.
On the other hand, Ambassador Hashim Al-Dajani stressed on the importance of this visit, which will serve the interests of both peoples, which will be the beginning of a cooperation in various fields including education, energy and water. This comes as a practical translation of the solidarity of the State of Palestine with the friendly African countries that stood up and supported the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination in various international forums.
Al-Dajani said that this visit comes within the framework of enhancing mutual solidarity between Palestine and the African countries through the efforts of the Palestinian International Cooperation Agency under the directions of President Mahmoud Abbas to promote bilateral relations to serve common interests. The African continent has maintained close relations with the Palestinian cause for decades, its countries support the Palestinian people and their struggle to realize their dream of liberation, and the establishment of their independent state as proved in the international forums.
The Palestinian delegation began the visit by meeting acting Prime Minister Muniani Muliliki, who conveyed the greetings of the King of Lesotho and its government and people to President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian people. He welcomed the cooperation between the two countries and affirmed the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. He highly appreciated the technical support provided by the State of Palestine to the Kingdom of Lesotho despite the conditions of occupation and the suffering of the Palestinian people.
The delegation also met with Minister of Health, Nekako Kabi, who expressed his ministry’s interest in the agency’s medical programs and proposed the implementation of the campaign to eliminate the water of the White Eye by the doctors of the State of Palestine who are specialized in this field.
The delegation also held an important meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, Mahala Mulabo, who gave an overview of the challenges facing the agriculture sector in his country, which the experts of the State of Palestine can contribute to overcome, especially that the Kingdom of Lesotho imports more than seventy percent of its needs of vegetables and fruits.
The delegation met with Foreign Minister Deputy, Halibonwe Setsibi, and discussed with him methods to enhance cooperation and support for Lesotho’s resolutions and initiatives in the UN system.
It is worth mentioning that PICA will intensify its development activities in the African continent and will implement a number of bilateral programs as well as tripartite programs. Such activities will be conducted in cooperation with international development and technical cooperation agencies, the Islamic Development Bank, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation in New York, and specialized international organizations for the future of relations with Africa in order to support the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.