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PA Foreign Minister on Palestinian radio: Britain must “issue a new promise that will end the promise from 99 years ago [i.e. the Balfour Declaration, considered basis for Israel’s establishment]”

Official PA radio station The Voice of Palestine program A New Day, interview with PA Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Malki on his meeting with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

PA Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Malki:
“We spoke not only about the Balfour Promise (i.e., Declaration) but also about several additional topics that we think are of great significance and which should be monitored together with the British officials. Regarding the Balfour Promise we pointed out that it is most important that Britain issue a new promise that will end the promise from 99 years ago. A new promise that will speak about Britain’s commitment to the Palestinian people’s right of self-determination, and Britain’s support for the establishment of a Palestinian state and the recognition of the State of Palestine, that is the minimum. Likewise we spoke about the historical responsibility of Britain in light of what happened as a result of the Balfour Promise and the apology required from Britain if it has the daring and the courage to bear responsibility in light of what happened to the Palestinian people as a result of the Balfour Promise. We requested of British Foreign Secretary [Boris Johnson] that for the 100th anniversary [of the Balfour Promise] which will take place next year [2017], and after we heard that there are preparations for many celebrations in Britain for this anniversary, we officially requested of the government of Britain that it refrain from participating in them, or that it not be part of any sort of celebratory activity for this day, because that would offend the sensibilities of the Palestinians and greatly influence the ties between the Palestinians and Britain. Likewise we spoke about the need for a joint Palestinian-British committee in order to study and evaluate the influences of the Balfour Promise on the bilateral ties, and the consequences of this on the situation of the Palestinians for the last 100 years, and [we spoke] about the necessity that this committee come out with evaluations and recommendations that could help Britain be relieved of this responsibility (i.e., by fulfilling the PA’s demands) that has accumulated from 100 years ago as a result of the Balfour Promise.”

Note: Al-Malki stated that in his meeting with Johnson it was agreed that the British government would give a response in the coming days.

The Balfour Declaration of Nov. 2, 1917 was a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Baron Rothschild stating that “His Majesty's government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” and is seen as the basis for later international commitments to establish the State of Israel.

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