The Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Sen. Shehu Sani, on Friday expressed support for the United Nations’ resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
He said during a visit to the Palestinian Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Saleh Fhied, in Abuja, that the conflict had lingered in spite of efforts to resolve it.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there had been efforts by the Security Council of the UN to bring an end to the conflict.
The conflict has been on territorial lines that existed before Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in 1967.
Sani assured the Palestinian envoy of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to the traditional position of Nigeria on the UN resolution on the matter.
“I am here to reaffirm my support for the Palestinian course and the struggle of the people of Palestine, for their liberation as an independent and a sovereign state.
“I also want to reaffirm my firm support for the United Nations resolution on Palestine-Israel debacle.
“It is regrettable that former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration derailed from Nigeria’s official position.
“It was a direct departure from Nigeria’s traditional position. It was not within the principle of our foreign policy.
“I believe no African should think of any other think than to see Palestine as a sovereign state,’’ he said.
Sani said that it was high time Palestine gained its freedom, stressing that “Palestine represents 21st century prison, where a people are denied the basic right to exist as a free people.
“We don’t believe that there should be a country under colonialism. This is the time for the suffering for the people of Palestine to come to an end; it is time for their independence.
“We believe the UN resolution. In as much as Israel exists as a sovereign state, Palestine should also exist as a sovereign state.
“Global peace can only be attained if the issue is resolved.’’
He commended the Palestinian Government for fostering unity among its Muslim and Christian population, saying that it offered a lesson of religious harmony all over the world.
He said that Nigeria and Palestine would continue to cooperate in relevant areas as well as work closely towards global peace.
Responding, the ambassador commended Buhari for fostering relationship between Nigeria and Palestine in 1985 when he was military Head of State.
Fhied said that Nigeria’s support for Palestine was only fair and just, considering the fact that Nigeria had also suffered from colonialism.
He expressed optimism that as civilian president, Buhari would support the Palestinian struggle to become a sovereign nation.
Fhied also commended Sani for his support for Palestine’s course and urged him not to relent in helping the government in the struggle for freedom.
He said, “every single word you just said will be heard in Palestine. The struggle is not finished yet; we count on your support and we wait for the day we will get our liberation.
“We don’t want to destroy Israel. We do not want to de-legalize Israel; we want to have them as neighbours; we hope the problem will finish and we will be free.
“They have to honour all international decisions and Security Council resolutions and with Nigeria and International help as well as your help, we can achieve this.’’