Leadership of UNRWA’s Advisory Board Passed on to UAE

Leadership of UNRWA’s Advisory Board Passed on to UAE

UNRWA’s official logo. File photo

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is expected to take over the chair of the advisory commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

In a phone call with Philippe Lazzarini, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees' new chief, on Tuesday, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash said they spoke ahead of the UAE taking over the chair of the agency's advisory board from July.

According to The National, the minister reiterated the UAE's support for the Palestinian cause, weeks after Abu Dhabi condemned Israeli plans to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank.

"Our commitment to the Palestinian cause and refugee support is principled. UAE aid to the agency during the past 6 years amounted to $216 million, which included education, health and social services," he added.

The agency has faced a cash crisis after US President Donald Trump removed all American funding of the body, leaving other states to stump up the cash to meet the shortfall.

The annexation plan "is a dangerous development that would undermine international efforts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict", the UAE said in a statement earlier this month.

Israel's action is "unacceptable, violates international law and impedes the peace process", it said.

The UAE warned of "dangerous repercussions" and said the move could "fuel" extremism, and terrorism in the region".

The international community must "fulfil its responsibility in calling for an end to all settlement activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territories" and "reject Israeli actions that violate international resolutions", it said.

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