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MENAFN - Gulf Times - 19/03/2017
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(MENAFN - Gulf Times) HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani discussed in Doha yesterday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas means of enhancing the brotherly close relations between the two countries and the latest developments in the Palestinian territories.
President Abbas briefed HH the Emir on the latest developments in the Palestinian arena, expressing his thanks and appreciation to the Emir for Qatar's efforts in supporting the Palestinian cause.
The meeting, which was held at the Emiri Diwan yesterday morning, discussed the Palestinian national reconciliation to unify Palestinian ranks.
The two leaders also exchanged view on a number of regional and international issues of common concern, especially international efforts aimed at reaching a lasting, just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian cause, the establishment of an independent State of Palestine with its capital East Jerusalem as well as halting settlement practices and the continued Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.
President Abbas officially inaugurated yesterday the Palestinian School in Doha in the presence of HE the Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Mohamed Abdul Wahed Ali al-Hammadi and HE the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi.
The Palestinian president toured the school and got acquainted with its facilities and educational means before meeting with the educational staff and students.
At the end of the visit, President Abbas presented the two ministers with souvenirs and signed the guestbook.
HH the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani laid the foundation stone of the school which was established thanks to an Emiri gesture. The school complex includes three levels of elementary, middle school and high schools.
President Abbas and accompanying delegation left Doha later yesterday concluding their working visit to Qatar. They were seen off at Hamad International Airport by HE the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi, and the Palestinian ambassador to Qatar, Munir Ghannam.
Meanwhile, the Health Communication and Community-Based Initiative Officer at the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Dr Yasser Turkic, praised Qatar's generous and sustained efforts to support the Palestinian people at the level of government or charities.
In a statement to Arabic daily Arrayah published yesterday, Dr Turkic hailed Qatar's efforts in supporting UNRWA's work in the occupied territories, stressing that Qatar has helped in many projects to serve the Palestinian people.

He pointed out that the 2,306 Qatari-funded housing units in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, at a total of 120mn, helped Palestinian people to enhance their stability and security to enable them to think about education, health and other aspects of life.
He pointed out that Qatar supports the UNRWA in many projects to serve the Palestinian people and contribute significantly to ease the burden on the Palestine people through several humanitarian and development initiatives.
Moreover, he said that UNRWA's Commissioner-General seeks to strengthen the most effective relations and co-operation to serve the Palestinians, pointing out that there are UN efforts to establish a partnership with the Qatari government to support the Palestinians.
About the services provided by UNRWA to Palestinian people, Dr Turki said that UNRWA provides assistance, protection and advocacy for some 5mn Palestinian refugees in the occupied Palestinian territories, including 3mn in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
He added that there are 700 schools and 143 health centres and hospitals in Qalqilya in the West Bank, as well as social services to help the poorest families and a service center for camps and infrastructure.
He also noted that UNRWA has an annual budget of 700mn and is paid by the UN member countries, especially the EU and US, adding that almost all UNRWA's funding comes from voluntary contributions of UN member states.
The agency he said has experienced a budget deficit of 100mn in 2017 and that any increase in this deficit means a great disaster in light of the needs of the Palestinian people of services in all sectors.
Dr Turkic stressed the need not to judge humanitarian works from political perspectives, ruling out the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem and there is no alternative to end the conflict until the Palestinian people get their full rights.
Regarding the inability of implementing the two-state solution, he stressed that the optimal solution is the declaration of the independence of the State of Palestine officially and the Israeli side and the international community should accept that, noting that this is an elusive solution, but this is the solution.


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