Cairo: Water ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have ratified a number of resolutions emphasize Palestinian water rights, and calls upon the international community to compel Israel to cease its policies of arbitrary, pillage of Palestinian water resources and invites the member states to the need to provide financial and technical support for the implementation of the Palestinian water authority’s plan to develop water and sanitation services in support of the steadfastness of the Palestinian people.
This came during a ministerial meeting of water ministers of Islamic States at the fourth session, in Cairo, Egypt, in the presence of a large number of water Ministers and representatives of Islamic States and with the participation of the head of the water authority Eng. Mazen Ghneim, and the Palestinian Ambassador to Egypt Mr. Diab Al-Louh.
The meeting comes within the Cairo water week where ministers met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who welcomed them in his country, stressing the importance of this event because of its role in providing the opportunity to work and cooperate in the field of water between the Islamic countries.
In his speech, Eng. Ghoneim called on countries members for the need to create a unified Islamic position to address Israeli water policy and recover Palestinian water rights reviewing the difficult water situation of the Palestinian people due to these policies.
During his speech, Eng. Ghoneim stressed the need to accelerate donor States and institutions of the desalination program in Gaza to start implementing the commitments undertaken during the donor conference last March, especially the Islamic Development Bank which pledged about 50% of the value of the project due to the urgent need to start implementation of the various components of the project. In this context Eng. Ghoneim thanked all donor countries and institutions, in particular, the State of Kuwait, which had recently agreed to begin construction of the carrier line , as a real start of the project ,he also praised the support of Saudi Arabia , Algeria, and the Republic of Turkey for the project, calling these States to continue to work with the water authority in this vital project, which is the only option to save the Gaza Strip from impending environmental catastrophe with more than 2 million people until 2020, according to international reports.
Ghoneim stressed the importance of joint action at this sensitive stage in which more than two thirds of the Islamic countries are facing difficult water issues in the midst of the humanitarian disasters facing the Arab region as a result of the existing wars, in addition to the classification of several of them among the poorest countries globally, Pointing out that what Palestine faces today from Israeli and American policies to Judaize Jerusalem and manipulate the right of return requires intensification of Islamic efforts, and that the Palestinian water file needs a lot of joint cooperation and constructive bilateral action with the member countries, praising the bilateral cooperation with Jordan, Morocco and the Kingdom of Bahrain, he also expressed his appreciation to countries that have expressed their desire to support the Palestinian water sector and are currently working to develop cooperation between the two parties, including, the Sultanate of Oman, Algeria, Arabic Republic of Egypt and the Republic of Iraq. Adding that his country looks forward to furthering the cooperation in the development of water and sanitation services to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people.
The Palestinian delegation participated in the opening and the events of Cairo water week. Eng.Ghoneim also held a series of bilateral meetings with ministers, presidents, delegations and a number of organizations, in which he discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field of water.