Foreign Minister addresses Gaza aid conference

March 2, 2009

Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal called on all Palestinians to overcome their internal differences and focus on their goal of achieving an independent state during a speech in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt today.


Addressing the International Conference for the Reconstruction of Gaza, Prince Saud called on the Palestinian factions to employ dialogue to resolve their differences. He praised Egypt for facilitating reconciliation talks.

Prince Saud condemned the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip, which resulted in a humanitarian disaster. He urged Israel to accept the Arab Peace Initiative, proposed by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz at the 2002 Beirut Summit, warning that the offer of peace "will not remain on the table forever."

Moreover, Prince Saud called upon the international community to fulfill its humanitarian responsibilities towards the Palestinians, noting that Saudi Arabia has already provided generous aid to the people of Gaza. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Relief Fund for the Palestinians has already raised SR228 million [$60.86 million], and King Abdullah recently announced that the Kingdom will contribute an additional $1 billion for reconstruction efforts, to be disbursed through the Saudi Development Fund (SDF).

Prince Saud concluded his remarks by declaring that the support of international donors will only be effective if accompanied by a strong reconstruction program and a commitment to economic reform.

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