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Maskey welcomes the ‘Mecca Agreement’

19 February, 2007

South Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly candidate Alex Maskey has welcomed the signing of the 'Mecca Agreement' within the past week by President Mahmoud Abbas and the Chair of the Political Bureau of Hamas, Khalid Mish'al.

Cllr. Maskey said,

"All those of us who have long supported the struggle of the Palestinian people have watched in anguish as they tore themselves apart in an internal violent struggle, which only served to divert them from the task of national self-determination for the Palestinian people.

"The Mecca Agreement has opened the way to end the fratricidal strife and allow the Palestinian Authority to focus on the challenging task of attending to the many and pressing needs of the people in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. The restructuring of the PLO should also strengthen the unity of the Palestine liberation movement and the people as a whole, which is a critically important requirement for the achievement of the historic objectives of the people of Palestine.

"We in Sinn Féin have been extremely concerned about the worsening socio-economic conditions of the Palestinian people, which further worsen the great pain they continue to suffer as a result of their loss of statehood and the Israeli occupation.

"It is essential that the people of Palestine establish a permanent peace among themselves and further reinforce their unity. The Mecca Agreement has confirmed that the leadership of the people of Palestine fully understands that it does not serve the interests of these masses to engage in a bitter and deadly civil war in a struggle for hegemony, while these masses continue to suffer as they do. This is a welcome and progressive development.

Cllr. Maskey concluded,

"Now that Hamas and Fatah have agreed to form a national unity government, the international community must move to assist the Palestinian people. The conclusion of the Mecca Agreement must surely serve as a firm signal that the rest of the world must now end all measures intended to isolate the Palestinian Authority, and thus show respect for the wishes of the Palestinian people and their decisions to determine their own internal affairs." CRÍOCH

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