Palestinian FM urges African Union to withdraw Israel's observer status in open letter

Palestinian FM urges African Union to withdraw Israel's observer status in open letter
Palestine's foreign minister Riyad Maliki urged the African Union to revoke Israel's observer status as the bloc meets in Addis Ababa.
2 min read
14 October, 2021
Riyad Al-Maliki wrote an open letter to the African Union [Getty]

Palestinian foreign minister Riyad Maliki has called on the African Union to remove Israel's observer status, as the bloc meets on Thursday in Addis Ababa for the African Union’s Executive Council.

In July, Israel was granted official observer status at the African Union, a goal the country's diplomats had been working towards for nearly two decades

The move sparked outrage among a number of African Union countries, including Algeria, South Africa and Namibia, and was condemned by Palestinians on numerous occasions. 

“The attempt by some to support Israel’s application for observer status in the African organization has rightly provoked sentiments of shock and rejection by those who wish to see Africa preserve and defend its proud legacy of successfully defeating racist colonialism and oppression", Maliki said in an open letter shared on Thursday.

He urged the AU to listen to African leaders who "vehemently protest attempts to override the African Union’s Charter and founding principles as well as circumvent the will of the peoples of the continent by fast-tracking a unilateral decision to grant Israel an Observer Status at the African Union."

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"Today, I write so that you may hear from the Palestinian people, who have historically and unwaveringly stood on the solid foundation of support to our African sisters and brothers. I write to ask that you stand by Palestine and your peoples’ legacy and reject a tacit endorsement of present-day colonialism," the letter added.

Maliki told the continental block that Israel sees "international law and human rights as impediments and continue to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity have long forfeited any entitlement to have a seat at the African table."