Palestine seeks to boost trade, tourism ties with Pakistan

Separate economic desk had also been established at Pakistan's foreign ministry


APP November 15, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

Palestinian Ambassador Ahmed Rabei on Sunday expressed his country’s resolve to enhance existing bilateral ties with Pakistan in multi-sectors and take them to the optimum level for the benefit of the people of both countries.

“We are working on an extensive plan to enhance trade, tourism, cultural and educational exchanges for optimum bilateral relations between brotherly countries,” said the Palestinian envoy to Pakistan in an exclusive interview with APP.

The ambassador said that the Palestinian government was collaborating with the Pakistani government on the level of traders and chamber of commerce, adding that a separate economic desk had also been established at Pakistan's foreign ministry.

Palestine, he said, has huge religious and heritage tourism potential with over 22,000 heritage sites registered in UNESCO.

“Moreover, the Al-Aqsa mosque is the first qibla (point of direction to offer the prayer) as the Muslims go to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to perform Hajj should also visit their first qibla.”

He said almost four million Christians visited Bethlehem and Nasra for religious tourism, regretting only half a million Muslims visited the sacred site.

“Palestine is the conduit of Asia, Europe and Africa which historically has imprints of various nations interactions, culture and traditions due to their invasions on their land,” ambassador Rabei said.

The Palestinians possessed a culturally diverse background and were flexible and easily adaptable to intricate and challenging environments, he added.

Read More: 'Just struggle': Massive crowds voice solidarity with Palestine in Karachi

He pointed out that the first-ever airport of the Middle East was established in Palestine. “Whereas the region’s first radio station was also established here which was headed by Palestinian women, a fact that indicated the level of women liberty and empowerment back in the early twentieth-century era before British and Zionist occupation.”

“Most of the early educationists in KSA and Kuwait were Palestinians that were highly educated and intellectually rich people in the entire region. We had the first school of the region in Palestine in 1921,” he underscored.

The ambassador expressed gratitude to the government of Pakistan and the national leadership for their unwavering support of the Palestine cause.

He said speeches made by Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Dr Arif Alvi and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in favour of Palestine were unprecedented. “Prime Minister Khan’s speech at UN general assembly was highly commendable.”

Ahmed Rabel appreciated Pakistan’s unflinching stance on Palestine cause and assistance to the oppressed Palestinian brethren facing Zionist Israeli occupation and oppression.

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