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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Mbeki calls for peace in Palestine and Sudan

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Former President Thabo Mbeki has called for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, saying only peaceful negotiations will enable this to happen.

However, Mbeki said permanent peace can be achieved through the creation of a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders.

Mbeki said the conduct of the Israeli government to create settlements in the West Bank has undermined the possibility of the emergence of the two states of Israel and Palestine.

The war between Israel and Hamas resumed this weekend after the collapse of the truce between the two parties on Friday.

Mbeki, who was speaking on Russia Today, said the only solution to the conflict in Gaza was for all parties to sit around the negotiating table.

He said during his visit to Moscow he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov where they discussed the issue of Palestine.

“We discussed questions like the current conflict between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza. We would take the same positions in terms of ending (the conflict), let’s have a permanent ceasefire and attend to the matter of creating two states, which is a strategic issue,” said Mbeki.

He said Palestinians have already agreed to the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as the capital.

But the conduct of Israel to expand settlements in the West Bank was undermining efforts to find a solution to the conflict.

“I think what is a big obstacle, the Israeli government has consistently been working, particularly with regards to the settlements on the West Bank, to undermine the possibility for the emergence of that second state. It’s necessary to go back to the negotiations to create a second viable state of the Palestinian people within the framework of the 1967 borders,“ said Mbeki.

He also said he discussed with Lavrov the work his foundation was doing to find peace in Sudan.

The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, have been locked in a bitter power struggle since the conflict began in April.

Thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced in Sudan.

Mbeki said he has spoken to civil society and al-Burhan to try and find a solution to the conflict.

In his meeting with Lavrov, they discussed the fact that the conflict must end between SAF and RSF. He said the Russian government was willing to work with them to find a solution.

“We then discussed the issues like in Sudan that the shooting must end. That the armed groups, the Sudan Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces must recognise their military organisations need to end the shooting because both of them are national armies. We explained that some of our interventions relate to that. I have spoken to Gen Burhan, We are involved in finding peace and democracy they need,” said Mbeki.

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