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Peace at home, peace in the world

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Joint Communique between the Republic of Turkey and the State of Palestine, 25 October 2018

1. The first meeting of the Joint Committee between the Republic of Turkey and the State of Palestine was held in Ankara, Turkey on 25 October 2018 under the chairmanship of H.E. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and H.E. Dr. Riad Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Palestine, with the participation of the Ministers responsible for the areas of cooperation covered in the “Joint Committee Agreement Between the Republic of Turkey and the State of Palestine”.

2. The Joint Committee meeting was held in a friendly atmosphere of mutual understanding and cooperation. On this occasion, the two friendly and brotherly countries reaffirmed their will and determination to further strengthen their already close ties in all areas. To this end, both sides welcomed the signing of the following agreements and memoranda on the margins of the meeting:

- Agreement between the Government of the State of Palestine and the Government of the Republic of Turkey for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income;

- Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the State of Palestine in the field of information and communication technologies;

- Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the State of Palestine on agricultural cooperation;

- Security Cooperation Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the State of Palestine;

- Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the State of Palestine on cooperation in the field of civil protection.

3. Both sides reiterated that a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in accordance with the international law and the established parameters of the UN is a prerequisite for regional and international peace. Within this framework, Turkey reaffirmed its resolute support for the establishment of an independent, sovereign and contiguous State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. The two sides stressed that any peace plan which would disregard the established parameters ought to be categorically rejected by the international community.

4. The parties underlined the urgent need to revitalize the Middle East Peace Process and called on the international community to recognize the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its capital with a view to preserving the established parameters on the two-state solution, as a response to the ongoing illegal practices of Israel.

5. Both sides emphasized the importance of Al-Quds for all three monotheistic religions and rejected any attempt to alter the legal and historical character and status of this holy city. They expressed their appreciation over the adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolution dated 21 December 2017, which called on the Member States not to move their Embassies to the occupied city of Al-Quds. The parties deplored that the United States and Guatemala moved their Embassies to Jerusalem which further destabilized the region and declared this move as legally null and void, as stipulated by the United Nations, in particular Security Council Resolution 478 (1980). The Parties also welcomed and commended the decision of the Government of Paraguay to move its Embassy back to Tel Aviv.

6. The two sides welcomed the adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolution on Protecting Palestinian Civilians on 13 June 2018 as well as the Report of the UN Secretary-General submitted pursuant to the said Resolution. Both sides called on the international community to fulfil its obligations regarding the protection of the Palestinian people in order to prevent the recurrence of heinous acts against civilians and to hold the perpetrators accountable.

7. Both sides fiercely condemned the confiscation of Palestinian land, the forced displacement of Palestinians and the expansion of the illegal settlement activities of Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory and demanded that Israel immediately and completely put an end to its settlement policy. The parties emphasized that these actions constitute serious breach of international law, as reaffirmed by several UN Security Council resolutions and reflect the intention of Israel to fortify its ongoing occupation. The two sides reiterated that the settlement activities of Israel in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, undermined the basis for negotiations and posed an enormous threat and impediment to the establishment of a viable, contiguous and sovereign Palestinian state.

8. Turkey and Palestine reaffirmed that the inhumane blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip and its citizens is a flagrant violation of international law as well as human rights. They urged the immediate and unconditional lifting of the blockade and opening of the crossing points for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and people to and from the Gaza Strip.

9. Both sides acknowledged the prominence of the Palestinian refugee issue in the Middle East Peace Process and stressed that it needed to be resolved in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions, in particular General Assembly Resolution 194 (1948). The parties rejected the efforts aimed at depriving the Palestinian refugees of their legal status.

10. Turkey underlined its determination to support UNRWA’s efforts in this difficult period and do its outmost in addressing its needs. The parties reaffirmed their strong support for the establishment of the Waqf incorporated in the OIC Final Communique of the Extraordinary OIC Summit held on 18 May 2018.

11. The two sides shared the view that the Palestinian national unity would strengthen the position of Palestine in the peace process and serve to the Palestinian cause. Turkey underscored its readiness to provide all support to the efforts aimed at ensuring the Palestinian unity.

12. Both sides confirmed their mutual will to enhance and expand the bilateral commercial and economic relations on a mutually beneficial basis at the First Session of the Council of Economic Cooperation between Turkey and Palestine held on 4-5 September 2018 in Ankara. The two sides affirmed their strong will to act to further promote and expand the cooperation in the areas of trade and bilateral investment relations, private sector cooperation, multilateral cooperation, economic and technical cooperation, agriculture, mining, water and forestry, tourism and culture, information and communication, transportation, press, education, environment, youth and sports.

13. Both parties agreed to improve their cooperation on energy sector and energy related training. The parties also expressed their willingness to evaluate possible opportunities in the energy sector and readiness to cooperate on clean energy to overcome the negative effects of power shortages in Palestine.

14. Both sides reaffirmed their determination to fight against terrorism and organized crime and to deepen and strengthen their cooperation to prevent and combat transnational and organized crime, in particular terrorism, goods and migrants smuggling, trafficking in human beings and narcotic drugs, as provided by the Security Cooperation Agreement.

15. The two sides stressed that their people enjoy excellent social and cultural relations and that the legal ground for the relations in the field of culture, youth and sports, archives and science has been completed.

16. The Turkish side reiterated its commitment to continue its support in the field of education and higher education as well as healthcare and vocational education. Both parties expressed their strong will that these relations be further developed.

Done and signed in Ankara on 25 October 2018.

ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY

ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Dr. Riad Malki

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates