About the Ministry
Since its establishment in 1964, Palestine Liberation Organization has been working on strengthening the relationships of friendship and cooperation between the Palestinian people and the peoples of the world. In this context, PLO seeks to open political and diplomatic channels of communication and to build a large and multi-aspect network of relations with various countries aiming to ensure the recognition of such countries with the legal rights of the Palestinian people, the first of which is their right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty.
If the hard liberal struggle into which PLO ran as a political framework gathering all the Palestinian people in all places of their existence had gained it capacity of the legal representative of those people, the political and diplomatic efforts which the Political Department of PLO would have reinforced the firmness of this capacity in the Palestinian Identity and enable it to attain the world recognition with its legal right to represent all the Palestinian people, and allow it to establish embassies and diplomatic representation offices in the Arab and friendly countries , or information offices in many other countries of the world aiming to make the world know the essence and dimensions of the Palestinian Problem, to clarify the attitudes and policies of PLO and to ensure obtaining the political and financial support for the Palestinian legal liberal straggle.
If the struggle of PLO and the coordinated efforts made by all its departments, bodies and institutions had resulted in obtaining the full membership to the Islamic conference Organization on 22nd February, 1974, the resolution which was issued by the Arab Summit Conference which was held in Al-Rebatt City , Morocco, on 28th October, 1974, to adopt PLO as the only legal representative of the Palestinian people, would have opened the door at large in front of the Palestinian President, Yaser Arafat at the United Nations Headquarters to be received as a struggle for freedom on 13th November, 1974, where he had delivered a historical speech before the United Nations General Assembly which, ten days after listening to that speech, i.e. on 22nd November, 1974 , adopted the two (2) resolutions no. 3236 and 3237. In the First Resolution, the United Nations General Assembly emphasized the undisputable rights of the Palestinian People including their right to self- determination, national independence and sovereignty, and their right to return to their houses and property, and requested its Secretary General to establish communications with PLO regarding all the matters relevant to the Palestinian Problem; and under the Second Resolution, the United Nations granted PLO the status of an observer member who is invited to participate in the sessions and works of the General Assembly and in the bodies which emerged from the United Nations and in the conferences organized by them.
Thus, PLO for which the recognition of the United Nations with it represented a political support of great important to the Palestinian National struggle started to affix its presence and reinforce its effectiveness at all levels. On 30th June, 1976, the Arab league raised up the PLO Representation level with it to a full membership level, as an only legal representative of Palestine; and in the same year, PLO attained the full membership to the Non-Align Countries Organization.
During the period from September, 1974, till the break out of the Palestinian Intifada (uprising) in December, 1987, PLO, in its capacity as the only legal representative of the Palestinian people continued attending a persevering political struggle aiming to resist any form of turning round its constant right to represent the Palestinian people, and worked hard in order to find a political equitable permanent solution for the Palestinian National problem based on its political program which was approved by the Palestinian National Council at its 12th Session which was held during the period 1st-9th September, 1974. In this program which carried the name. “The Ten Points Program, “PLO clearly and apparently pointed out that it is willing to build the Palestinian National independent Authority on any span of the Palestinian land from which the Israeli occupation is dismissed or withdrawn. but the failure of achieving all political initiatives which were presented and negotiated at that time due to the stubbornness of the Israeli governments and their frantic seeking to eliminate PLO, which reached its peak at the Israeli invasion to Lebanon in the summer of 1982 and escalating the suppressive procedures against the Palestinian People including confiscating their land, and building Jewish settlements on the land, together with other many factors accumulated by the occupation, made the Palestinian people launch a profound popular Intifada “ uprising” at a large scope on 9th December, 1987 against the Israeli occupation existing on the Palestinian land including Jerusalem.
This brave Intifada (uprising), during which the Palestinian people submitted great sacrifices, had to raise the Palestinian Problem again to the world opinion and at the area of the international policies and diplomacy and their forums, as the Palestinian Problem is an issue of national liberation with priority that requires the international community to quickly solve it politically, urgently, equitably and totally.
In the multitude of the Intifada (uprising), the Palestinian National Council held its Nineteenth Session in Algeria, which was culminated on 15th November, 1988 with the Declaration of the “Independence of Palestine”, and the Declaration of “Establishment of the State of Palestine and Jerusalem its Capital”, and the issuance of a political comprehensive statement which specified the trends of PLO and its national constants. The Council confirmed the readiness and preparedness of PLO to actively participate in the process of looking for a political equitable settlement of the Palestinian Problem. Such matters have led to raise up among other things, the PLO representation level to the embassy level with most of the countries which recognized the State of Palestine, and to make the United Nations General Assembly adopt, on 15th December, 1988, the Resolution No. 177/43 which stated the acknowledgment of the Declaration of Independence issued by the Palestinian National Council and starting to use the Name “Palestine “instead of PLO in all the frameworks of the United Nations. This will, in combination with other factors, and after about a decade, establish the Resolution No. 250/52, titled “Participation of Palestine in the United Nations to be adopted by the United Nationals on 7th July 1998, which granted Palestine more rights and distinctions which were not granted before, except to the States of full membership.
Following the 19th session of the Palestinian National Council, the world witnesses several structural developments that led to among other matters, the dissolution of matrixes , dissociation of countries , breaking out of wars , and collapse of coalitions which were previously existing to be replaced with new coalitions at regional and international level. Despite the political developments which occurred in the world with surprising acceleration, PLO could protect itself and confirm its presence through keeping an active and effective political role within the framework of looking for a total equitable solution for the Palestinian Problem.
Even if Israel insisted to exclude PLO from participation in Madrid Peace Conference to which both the United States of America, and the Soviet Union addressed a joint invitation for holding it, and its opening session met in October , 1991 in Madrid , even behind the mask of the Jordanian –Palestinian joint delegation , PLO could be present there , and could directly supervise the Palestinian Israeli “Crador” negotiations which continued in Washington following the opening session of Madrid Peace Conference.
The Palestinian- Israeli intensive and hard negotiations, including secret negotiations in Oslo which continued at that time till August, 1993 , resulted in reaching to a “Declaration of Principles “ by both the Israeli and Palestinian partied for the arrangements of a temporary autonomy , signed in Washington on 13th September 1993, by PLO and the Government of Israeli ; and this Declaration was adopted in October, 1993, by PLO and the Government of Israeli; and this Declaration was adopted in October, 1993 by the Central Council of PLO which authorized the Executive Committee of PLO the powers to established the Palestinian National Authority , and elect the Leader, Yaser Arafat, a President of this Authority.
On 1st , July , 1994 , the President , Yaser Arafat returned to the Palestinian liberated territories , to confirm for his Palestinian people that no doubt the final salvation from the Israeli occupation on the Palestinian land is coming to start government under his Presidency of the Palestinian National Authority which was established in the same year, within which the Palestinian Authority had established among other things, the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation to administer the international aids and donations, and to be responsible for the general framework of the external affairs of the Palestinian National authority.
After the Palestinian Legislative Council had amended the Basic Temporary Law in harmony with the creation of the position of the Prime Minister on 18th March, 2003, the Palestinian Fifth Government was constituted on 29th, April 2003. As a result of a group of local, regional and international changers which the Palestinian Problem witnesses, and as the Palestinian National Authority perceived the importance of administering the external relations as an important tool for activating the international multi-lateral and multi-field support ,and for organizing and coordinating this support on bases that conform with the international legality, the two work fields of the Ministry of the Planning and International Cooperation were separated into two independent fields of work in a form that led to the establishment of the First Palestinian Ministry for Foreign Affairs to be responsible for planning and managing the Palestinian foreign policy in coordination with the Political Department of PLO. Recently, launching from the Decision of the Executive Committee of PLO dated 9/4/2005, and as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs perceived the nature of its work assigned to it, the objectives which the Ministry seeks to achieve , the scope of tasks assigned to it, the limits of its powers, the distinctive privacy and sensitivity to political and diplomatic work, and its care to end the violating duplicity, the Ministry set a new organizational structure which re-structures it, taking into consideration its privacy, nature of its tasks, and its objectives that open the way for responding to the urgent need for establishing a Palestinian vital active diplomatic corps to carefully, and accurately and tightly make distinction between the diplomatic and administrative levels , and pave the way for granting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs any necessary authorization and powers by the concerned authorities in PLO and the Palestinian National Authority that enable it to bear its responsibilities and perform the tasks assigned to it through many matters the first of which is the political administrative financial and complete supervision on all the Palestinian Offices , Embassies and Missions existing abroad.