Home National DIRCO Confirms Minister Pandor’s Discussion with Hamas Leader for Humanitarian Aid to Palestine

DIRCO Confirms Minister Pandor’s Discussion with Hamas Leader for Humanitarian Aid to Palestine

by Central News Reporter
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The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) says it has taken the hard but necessary decision to shut down 10 diplomatic missions abroad. According to the department, this was in response to the country’s fiscal constraints, exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing the media ahead of her department’s budget vote in Parliament, Minister Naledi Pandor said Cabinet made the resolution after a series of consultations that culminated in a decision. According to the Minister, the missions, which include embassies, high commissions and consulates, are being closed systematically during the 2021/22 financial year. “This decision is deeply regretted and South Africa expresses its confidence that the excellent diplomatic relations with these countries and regions will continue through the non-resident missions, and the diplomatic missions represented in South Africa,” Pandor said on Thursday. Pandor announced that the list of missions earmarked for closure include: Minsk, Belarus; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; The Holy See, The Vatican; Helsinki, Finland; Milan, Italy (consulate); Muscat, Oman; Suva, Fiji; Bucharest, Romania; Lima, Peru and Chicago, United States (consulate). In addition, she assured South African citizens resident abroad, businesses and tourists that a smooth transfer of civic and immigration services to non-resident missions is underway. “All affected stakeholders are advised to check with the affected embassies and consulates-general on the exact dates of termination of services,” she said. Meanwhile, Pandor said further announcements of the transfer of civic and immigration services will be made on the websites of DIRCO, the Department of Home Affairs and the affected missions. Foreign policy priorities According to Pandor, even before the global community was confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic, the world had become more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. She said this includes crosscutting and border-blind challenges, global warming, terrorism, pandemics, and cybersecurity. “The global governance architecture is at a crossroads, as it struggles to manage the multiple challenges afflicting people and the planet, while governing relations between States, as well as those between States and non-State actors.” Therefore, Pandor said South Africa has to execute its foreign policy “conscious” and “responsive” to dynamic national and international contexts. “It is in this environment that South Africa promotes and protects its national interest. South Africa’s national interest displays a people-centred, progressive and developmental outlook evidenced in its foreign policy.” She believes that this could be done by promoting pan-Africanism, South-South solidarity and cooperation, North-South cooperation, and multilateral cooperation

Naledi Pandor

In a recent statement released by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), it has been confirmed that Minister Naledi Pandor received a request to call Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in order to discuss the provision of humanitarian aid to Palestine. The call took place on Tuesday, during which Minister Pandor reiterated South Africa’s solidarity and support for the people of Palestine, expressing sadness and regret for the loss of innocent lives on both sides.

The statement further stated that Minister Pandor and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh discussed ways to ensure the necessary humanitarian aid reaches Gaza and other parts of the Palestinian territories. This reaffirms South Africa’s commitment to facilitating dialogue and working towards a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict. It is important to note that the department categorically denied reports suggesting that Minister Pandor offered support for the ‘Battle of Al-Aqsa Flood,’ stating that such claims were false and intended to impugn the Minister and the South African government.

South Africa continues to emphasize the importance of all parties seizing the opportunity for peace and ending the violence, urging the international community to actively advocate for the implementation of its own international resolutions and establish a credible peace process. With its experience in mediation and conflict resolution, South Africa stands ready to share its knowledge and expertise, as it has done on the continent and around the world.

The latest reports indicate that the Israeli air raids have resulted in the deaths of approximately 2,808 Palestinians, while the number of Israelis killed in Hamas’s attack and military operation stands at about 1,400, including 286 soldiers. These numbers highlight the urgent need for a cessation of hostilities and the opening of humanitarian corridors to ensure the safety and well-being of all affected individuals.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his weekly newsletter, called for an immediate end to acts of war between Israel and Palestine. He emphasized the importance of a United Nations-led negotiation process and the opening of humanitarian corridors to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people. President Ramaphosa urged that this process leads to a just and lasting peace, satisfying the human rights, dignity, and aspirations of all individuals on both sides of the conflict.

South Africans, like many around the world, have been deeply affected by the ongoing violence and destruction in Israel and Gaza. President Ramaphosa highlighted the country’s commitment to standing firm against all forms of prejudice, including racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia. He expressed solidarity with both the people of Palestine and Israel, emphasizing the importance of empathy beyond shared ethnic, racial, religious, or cultural affiliations.

 

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