Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli called on Palestinian National Authority (PNA) President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Maliki on 22 October 2014. 

            President Abbas and SMS Masagos affirmed the good relations between Singapore and the PNA.  President Abbas expressed his appreciation for Singapore’s efforts to provide humanitarian assistance and support the reconstruction of Gaza, and noted Singapore’s participation at the Cairo International Conference on Palestine and Reconstructing Gaza on 12 October 2014.  He also welcomed Singapore’s enhanced technical assistance package for the PNA, worth S$5million over five years, which was announced in 2013.  SMS Masagos encouraged more Palestinian officials to participate in training courses under the enhanced package.  President Abbas welcomed SMS Masagos’ suggestion to also explore additional training of Palestinian officials at the Asia-Middle East Dialogue Regional Training Centre in Jordan in order to better support Palestinian capacity building.  SMS Masagos also reiterated the standing invitation for President Abbas to visit Singapore.  

            During SMS Masagos’ meeting with Prime Minister Hamdallah, both leaders had a good exchange of views on potential areas of cooperation, including water management and public administration.  Prime Minister Hamdallah noted Singapore’s participation at the Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for the Palestinian Development (CEAPAD II) held in Jakarta and Tokyo in 2013 and 2014 respectively.  SMS Masagos reiterated that Singapore remained happy to share our developmental experience in areas which would be relevant and useful. 

            SMS Masagos met and was hosted to lunch by Foreign Minister Al-Maliki.  Both Ministers had frank discussions on the challenges facing the Middle East peace process and other regional developments.  SMS Masagos reiterated Singapore’s support for the right of the Palestinian people to a homeland and expressed the hope that a durable peace would be achieved between Israel and the Palestinians based on a negotiated two-state solution.

            SMS Masagos also laid a wreath at the tomb of former PNA President Yasser Arafat.

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23 OCTOBER 2014