PLO Urges Non-Aligned Movement to Boycott Israel
NAM's Ministerial Committee to Meet in Malaysia May 13
Palestine Media Center - PMC [Official PA website]
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is set to ask the ministerial
committee of the 118-member Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to suspend trade ties
with Israel when the committee meets in Putrajaya in Malaysia, NAM's current
chairman, on May 13.
PLO political chief Farouk Al-Kaddoumi will lead the Palestinian delegation,
the Palestinian ambassador to Malaysia Ahmad Al-Farra told Malaysian New
Straits Times daily on Sunday.
Twelve countries from the committee, of which Malaysia is the chairman, are
expected to attend the meeting on the Palestinian issue.
On whether it was practical for NAM and the Organization of Islamic
Conference (OIC) members to initiate a trade boycott of Israel in view of
the US patronage of the nation, Al-Farra said there would definitely be
strength in unity.
"Besides this, we want the United Nations to initiate economic sanctions
against Israel. We also want non-governmental organizations to institute
measures to help us in our cause," he added.
"Although NAM and OIC have given tremendous support to the Palestinian
cause, they do not have the power to implement practical measures to take
their stand a step further," Al Farra said, noting that several resolutions
and communiques had been issued but few had been implemented.
Therefore, more concrete action should be pursued by NAM and OIC member
states in furthering the Palestinian cause, he said.
"I do not expect to see any lesser decision taken by the NAM ministers than
what the (Organization of Islamic Conference) OIC has taken. It is not
enough to be angry or to condemn the Israelis."
However, Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar confirmed
the issue on boycotting Israel will be raised at the ministerial meeting,
but said such an action "must begin within the (Middle East) region itself."
"If any country is going to boycott or sever ties with Israel, it must begin
within the region itself," he said.
"They can't continue to have political and diplomatic relationships with
Israel if Israel continues to breach international law and disrespects the
United Nations," he indicated.
Albar said that the NAM should decide on this issue collectively.
"We'll see how the issue is received and accepted by the committee as it has
to be a collective decision."
Al Farra said Malaysia had taken steps under its chairmanship to give the
Nam and OIC a new lease of life with more action-oriented strategies.
"Malaysia is fulfilling its promises by calling for positive action to
further the Palestinian cause," he said, adding that OIC's recent decision
to meet the international Quartet of nations was one example.
Al Farra said the Malaysian Foreign Minister Albar would be leading a
five-member OIC group to meet leaders of the United Nations, United States,
European Union and Russia, who drafted and are sponsoring the "roadmap,"
which the UN Security Council adopted in Resolution 1515 in November.
The meetings will focus on the need to stick to the "roadmap" for peace in
the Middle East, he said.