South Africa Special Envoy shares experience in politics & looks for cooperation

South Africa’s special Envoy in the Middle East and The Adviser of South Africa Minister of International Relations and Cooperation for Middle East Affairs Mohamed Dangor visited Birzeit University on May 20, 2017 and met with the University President Abdullatif Abuhijleh.

Dangor, accompanied with the South African Ambassador to Palestine Ashraf Suliman, discussed the bilateral relations between Palestine and South Africa, and pointed out to the Embassy’s efforts to communicate with the Palestinian governments and higher-education institutions for cooperation in various fields, including research and exchange opportunities.

President Abuhijleh expressed his pride in the long-standing relationship between the two countries, stressing that South Africa is a great supported to the Palestinian cause and the development to its institutions.

The meeting was attended by the Vice President for Academic Affairs Henry Giacaman, and the Director of the External Academic Relations Office Amir Khalil, and delegation of South African officials.

After the meeting, Adviser Dangor met with professors and students from the Political Science Department, the Ibrahim Abu Lughod Institute of International Studies and the Democracy and Human Rights Program.

Dangor presented South Africa as a successful model of resistance and liberation. He shared the strategies that have substantial contributed to ending the apartheid regime in South Africa. He pointed out to the Palestinian prisoners’ current hunger strike, comparing it with the South African experience.

He explained how South Africans achieved victory under the leadership of Nelson Mandela followed by democratic transition, and building a civil society based on equality and social justice, and respect for human rights and dignity.

He spoke of South Africa’s desire to work with multi-lateral organizations and the emphasis South Africa puts on dialogue as a means of resolving problems.

In turn, professors and students outlined their perspectives about the obstacles that hinder Palestinians from going back to the negotiations table with the Israeli Occupation to find a solid and just solution for the Palestinian cause.

Both parties explored areas where Palestinians can benefit from the South African experience in confronting the apartheid regime, and building independent institutions.