New Phase of Bilateral Relations between Palestine and Mali
Two agreements on bilateral cooperation were signed today in the capital of Mali, Bamako, between the State of Palestine and the Republic of Mali, the first of which revolves around a development cooperation framework between the Palestinian International Cooperation Agency (PICA) and Mali Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the second one focuses on cooperation in the educational field that has been signed between PICA and Mali Ministry of National Education.
These agreements aim at strengthening the historical ties between both countries and will be translated through bilateral and trilateral development programs that reflect the interests and priorities of both parties.
The agreements are also a result of H.E President Mahmoud Abbas instructions to enhance the cooperation with Africa and the directions of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates to implement PICA plans and programs in Africa.
PICA Director General, Imad Al-Zuhairi, who signed both agreements considered them as a reflection of the keenness of the leadership of both countries to develop and further enhance bilateral relations , which leads to strengthening development processes and to achieving national development plans, as well as to enhancing cooperation policies for countries of the south as implementation of international development goals which represents a new start of relations between both countries.
The signing of these agreements came immediately after the appointment of a new prime minister with a new government in Mali, where the State of Palestine was the first to convey congratulations on behalf of H.E President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister, H.E Dr. Mohammad Ashtayeh, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, H.E Dr. Riyad Al-Malki, and the Palestinian people as a whole to the designated Prime Minister Boubou Cisse and put forward a program of development cooperation. Such cooperation leads to benefiting from expertise and specialized Palestinian human resources to implement activities and development programs especially in the areas of information technology, health, agriculture and education.
On the other hand, Hadi Shibli, ambassador of the State of Palestine to Mali, stated that the cooperation programs between the two countries, which already have started concretely on the ground , will contribute to setting a model for a cooperation program that is important to benefit from and apply in other neighboring African countries. Shibli mentioned that a number of African countries has benefited from PICA programs and there are other countries that will benefit from PICA programs in the coming few months.
Shibli also stressed that the agreements signed between the two parties strengthen the identity of Palestine in the African continent and mobilize more solidarity with it.
PICA Director General and the Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Mali met with Deputy Minister of Foreign Ministry, Mahaman Maja, Deputy Minister of National Education, Agha Gadega, and Director of the National School for Communication and Information. During the meeting, all parties discussed a number of programs that fall under the framework of the implementation of international development goals, especially in the fields of education, health and media. The Malian officials expressed their appreciation for PICA role in giving back to Mali, which stood and is standing with Palestine in various circumstances and in the most difficult ones. He confirmed that if the Malian people were to choose between poverty and supporting Palestine, they will choose supporting Palestine as it is a cause related to Mali internal affairs that cannot be bargained for.
Al-Zuhairi and Shibli also held a number of important meetings. In addition to the meeting with the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Malian Parliament, Mr. Isaac Sidi Bey, welcomed PICA Director General and the Ambassador of the State of Palestine in Bamako, where briefing on the development programs to be implemented by PICA in Mali was presented.
The top Malian official welcomed PICA programs and expressed his gratitude and appreciation for its special role in strengthening cooperation and in achieving development programs that serve the interests of both countries. He also conveyed the greetings of Mali parliament members to H.E President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian people.
PICA, with the participation of WAFA News Agency and independent Palestinian media experts, organized last week in Bamako a specialized training program targeting fifty Malian journalists that aimed at increasing their technical capabilities and improving their performance. The training program received the satisfaction of the trainees and their media organizations and officials in Mali.
The Republic of Mali, a member State of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the African Union Commission, is one of the countries that support Palestine in a principled and steadfast manner. It supports Palestine initiatives on the international level and stands by the Palestinian people and their leadership in their efforts to achieve their inalienable and legitimate rights, the first of which is their right to self-determination and establishing the state of Palestine on the borders of 4th of June 1967 and the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland, from which they were forcibly displaced.