Opening Asia for Russia

19.04.2018 141 просмотров

Nabil Shaas spoke in an interview with the Big Asia TV channel about the clarification of the border between the states of Israel and Palestine, the status of the city of Jerusalem, which can become the capital of both states at the same time, as well as about the recent presidential elections in the Russian Federation, at which the adviser to the President of Palestine was present as an invited international observer.

- Mr. Nabil Schaas, we are pleased to welcome you to Moscow, where you have arrived to hold talks with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Mikhail Bogdanov, and also as a member of the corps of international observers to monitor the process of presidential elections in the Russian Federation. On behalf of the Big Asia TV channel, I would like to ask you a few questions about the international policy of the state of Palestine. You are an adviser on international affairs to the President of Palestine. Until recently, you served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of your country...
Our first question may surprise you. Nevertheless, we would like to clarify the information: is it true that you were one of Mr. Trump's teachers?

- Yes, it's true! (laughs) I taught him the art of finance. But I am not responsible for his understanding of the science of management or international jurisprudence. And I think that in the field of finance, he was quite successful. I happened to teach him at the Pennsylvania State University. It was there that I worked as a full-time lecturer at the local Financial Academy.

The fact is that I defended my master's degree in the specialization "Finance". But I have already completed my PhD in economics. 

Well, thank you for your sincere answer. Now, let me move on to discussing the main topics of our conversation. As far as we know, last December you had an official meeting with Sergey Lavrov. And now, during your current visit, you held talks with Mr. Mikhail Bogdanov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. We understand that the most important topic of discussion is politics - more precisely, the status of your state, the situation the Palestinian people. I would like to ask you your point of view on the current situation around your country. We are also interested in your comment about East Jerusalem. 

– The fact is that this is already my third trip in 2 months. For the first time, I came to see Messrs. Lavrov and Bogdanov as part of the preparations for the official visit of the President of Palestine, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, whom I accompanied during his meeting with Mr. Putin. 

A common task that unites all my visits to your country is the development of a multilateral and multifactorial negotiation strategy, which does not necessarily imply automatic participation in the process of the United States. Yes, of course, they are called to join and can become one of three or four participants in the negotiation process. But our most important friend and world power capable of influencing the solution of this issue, in our opinion, is precisely Russia. We believe that China is playing the same role. This, together with the United States, is the list of strategic partners that we regularly visit for the next round of negotiations. 

The final goal we are pursuing is the reconfiguration of the process of peaceful settlement of the Palestinian question. So far, this process has been managed by Washington alone. 

So, my current trip had 3 goals. First, as you mentioned, I was invited as an official observer to the presidential elections in the Russian Federation. I had the opportunity to make sure that the procedural legality of the elections was fully observed. I also noticed the joyful atmosphere that accompanied the elections. I really liked that people came to the polls with their children; many even held balloons in their hands. 

I also decided to use this visit for work purposes, that is, we continued to discuss our work issues with the leadership of your country. The main thing we wanted to find out was Russia's role in multilateral negotiations in the international arena. We naturally seek to achieve a final peace with the State of Israel with the full assertion of Palestinian sovereignty. It is important for us to establish East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. At the same time, we consider such a status quo possible, in which Western Jerusalem will be the capital of the state of Israel. 

The fact is that if you want to divide the country into 2 states on a territorial basis, then you must Jerusalem, which is so important to all parties. 

I must say that it has been 26 years since we signed an agreement with Israel in the White House. But the Americans failed to implement the articles of this treaty. At present, we continue to live in a regime of complete occupation by the State of Israel. Every day the Israelis open their new settlements on our land, take away our territories, our water resources. At the same time, as you can see, a negotiating platform has long been created to achieve some kind of final peace agreement between Palestine and Israel. 

Nabil Shaas , Palestine, interview Nabil Shaas (Advisor on International Affairs to the President of Palestine), Alexander Artamonov (Editor-in-Chief of the TV channel "Big Asia"). Photo: "Greater Asia"

< b> That is, if to summarize, you support such scenario at which there will be a final division of a city into 2 parts. At the same time, Israel will receive, as the capital, Western Jerusalem, and you - East?

- Yes, and this scenario is acceptable for all parties involved in the negotiation process. The idea of two neighboring states is based on the tracing of the border from 1967. This line divides Jerusalem into eastern and western sectors. The decision to draw the border along this line is recorded in all documents. And not a single country in the world recognizes the illegal occupation of our territory by the state of Israel. This must end. The best scenario, I think, is the recognition of two states and the establishment of a firm border, which will finally allow peace and harmony to reign in both states.

That is, if I interpret your thought correctly, you are in favor of giving the city of Jerusalem a special international status.

Well, you know, the special status of this municipality has existed since 1948. Even the very concept of territorial division into 2 states stipulated the preservation of a special - special - status for Jerusalem.

But we do not object to the usual division of the city into 2 parts. At the same time, however, a special regime will be required for the organization of civil life and the functioning of the municipality as such. It will also be necessary to respect the freedom of movement of persons between both parts of the city.
I propose to use Rome as an example. Rome has a dual status, as it is simultaneously the capital of both Italy and the clerical state of the Vatican. At the same time, being the location of two capitals at once, Rome remains a single city. 

Nabil Shaas, Palestine, interview
Advisor Foreign Affairs President of Palestine Nabil Shaas. Photo: "Greater Asia"

God grant it! I would like to say the following: our TV channel "Greater Asia" pursues purely peaceful purposes. We write exclusively about what unites peoples, that is, about culture, economy, religion, peaceful life... In this regard, I would like to dwell on those points that are of particular interest to our audience. I mean cooperation. Could you give an assessment of the state of Russian-Palestinian cooperation. I mean cooperation in the field of the military-industrial complex, and culture, and in other areas. 

- For a very long time, we have observed very close cooperation between the Palestinians and, in general, the Arabs, with on the one hand, and the Soviet Union on the other. Further, when, after the end of the USSR, the Russian Federation appeared, we managed to maintain these established trusting ties.
Now we do not have cooperation in the military sphere, but there is interaction in terms of culture, as well as in the economy. There is complete mutual understanding between our two countries in the diplomatic environment. But we would like to go even further: we would like cooperation based on mutual interest to develop in all of the above areas. 

Even now, numerous Russians come to Palestine as pilgrims. They go to Jerusalem or to Bethlehem. If you walk along the streets of Bethlehem, you will see that at least half of all signs are made in Russian, because your numerous compatriots really constantly come to us.

It is also worth noting that about 80% of all of our doctors received professional education in Russia. Also, do not underestimate the matrimonial factor, since we now have about seven and a half thousand Russian women who have married Palestinians and live in our country. In this regard, the cultural factor is very strong, since we have a large group of Russian-speaking Palestinians, which contributes to cultural exchange. And Russian women are actively teaching Palestinians the Russian language.

I would also like to note that for many years I headed the work of the Russian-Palestinian Friendship Society. So here in Palestine they celebrate both your Victory Day and Russia's Independence Day... Many of your creative teams and artists come to perform here, and you can see them on tour at the Palestinian Opera House.
How we see such close relationships exist on both sides. But there is always an opportunity to make them even more productive.

Nabil Shaas, Palestine, interview
Advisor to the President of Palestine on Foreign Policy and International Relations Nabil Shaas. Photo: Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS

Could you tell us how we could further increase the tourist flow from Russia to your country?

You know, I am convinced that as soon as peace reigns, the tourist flow will increase by itself. People will come not only to make a pilgrimage, but also just to visit our country. Although we occupy a small area, we have many cultural and historical values. From the point of view of resorts, we have the Mediterranean coast, and mountains, and the Jordan River, and the Dead Sea, the level of which is 400 meters lower than the level of the World Ocean. You can see in Palestine and the real desert. So in half an hour you are able to change the climate zone 4 times (laughs).

Thus, I believe that in the future we will have not only a pilgrimage, but also an influx of ordinary tourists. 

Let me ask you if it seems possible for you to cooperate with our TV channel "Big Asia" with any local Palestinian channel to promote your country in Russia, which, of course, will lead to an increase in interest in Palestine ...

– We have a Russian TV channel Russia Today in Palestine. They even have their own office on our land; other Russian mass media are also working. But, of course, Palestinian TV will be happy to cooperate with your TV channel in order to strengthen cultural relations. 

Thus, you will have the opportunity to see Palestine and shoot footage of our country. But we hope that you will also show us, the Palestinians, Russia and, in particular, its Asian part. After all, this is the role of your TV channel. I think that there will be enough topics for cooperation here. 

- Thank you for this conclusion. We will be honored to build a joint project with our Palestinian colleagues. And now I would like to ask you the very last question, so as not to tire you too much. I promise there will be no other questions! What do you think about the potential for business cooperation with the Russian Federation on the part of Palestinian businessmen?

– Such a phenomenon exists, but it is not widespread. We have enough people who come to Russia in order to purchase your goods. Some business people even live permanently in Moscow. But here, too, much more can be done.

In general, in the minds of the citizens of Palestine, Russia occupies a very, very high and prestigious place - after all, you have always been our friends! So you don't even have to try very hard to convince the Palestinians of the need to develop relations between our two countries. 

Well! This is great news! Thank you, Mr. Nabil Shaas, for giving us the honor to record this interview. I hope that our possible next on-air meeting will take place on your Palestinian land.

– Thank you!



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