Israel bars five foreign ministers from meeting Abbas in Ramallah

Only the 7 foreign ministers of countries with ties to Israel will be allowed to attend meeting of Non-Aligned Bloc called by PA President Abbas to discuss renewed statehood bid at the UN.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas [file photo]

PA President Mahmoud Abbas
Photo: Luis Galdamez / Reuters

Israel will allow through its gates the foreign ministers of seven countries that have ties with Israel making their way to an emergency meeting Sunday of the ‘Palestine Committee’ of the Non-Aligned Movement in Ramallah, but not those foreign ministers from countries without ties with Israel.

Government officials said a decision was made Sunday to allow the foreign ministers of Egypt, India, Colombia, South Africa, Senegal, Zambia and Zimbabwe to attend the conference.

The foreign ministers of Bangladesh, Cuba, Indonesia, Malaysia and Algeria will not be allowed passage, however.

This is the first gathering of its kind in the West Bank since the establishment of the PA in 1994. The Non-Aligned Movement, which has about 120 members, is a group of countries considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc.

New Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amru is expected to deliver a speech at the conference. It was not immediately clear whether Amru, or any of the other foreign ministers attending the event, will stop in Jerusalem as well for talks with Israeli officials.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas is expected to address the conference and will seek the backing of the Non-Aligned Movement for his plan to seek the status of non-member state at the upcoming General Assembly session in New York.

Abbas is expected to attend a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran later this month.


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