By Noura Wazani
The Palestinian refugees’ issue topped Wednesday the agenda of the open session of the 103rd Interparliamentary Union (IPU) Conference, underway in Amman, Jordan. Participants stressed in their speeches the refugees’ right of return, while a special committee was set up to draft a decision to be put to vote at the meeting’s concluding meeting on Friday.
Lawmakers from 138 countries arrived in the kingdom’s capital to take part in the 7-day event, inaugurated by Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Sunday.
British MP George Galloway highlighted in his speech the sheer size of the tragedy the Palestinian people, and the deteriorating health situation in the Palestinian camps.
Galloway, known for his humanitarian activities, called for the full implementation of the UN resolution 194, stressing that the years of delay “do not nullify the decision.”
He went on to describe the lack of implementation as “a crime”, and called on the international community to stop neglecting of the Palestinians.
In his speech, Canada’s representative had something to add. Underlying the necessity for finding a solution to the issue, “within the framework of international conventions, he said “ if for a reason or another Palestinian refugees can not return to their homeland, they should be compensated financially.”
The Canadian lawmaker demanded that developed countries take their responsibility in this regard through setting up a fund to finance the compensations.
Head of the Iranian delegation to the conference said for his part that “any peace settlement that does not guarantee the right of return to the refugees is inevitably a failure.”
However, harmony among the speakers in approaching the issue could not be maintained as the head of the Danish delegate assailed in his speech Jordanian MPs for the stand they took against Israel.
Following two speeches by Jordanian deputies Mahmoud Kharabsheh and Abdul Majid Al-Aqtash in which they attacked Israel, the Danish MP back lashed aggressively.
He went as far as denouncing the protests and sit-ins against the Israeli presence in the conference led by key opposition movements in Jordan on Monday.
“Israel has signed a peace treaty with Jordan,” he said, adding that the Jewish state “has not trespassed on Arab rights.”
The session also tackled the problems of slavery and smuggling of persons that take place at the international level – Albawaba.com
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