President Cyril Ramaphosa says government remains seized with the modalities of downgrading the South African Embassy in Israel.
The President said this when he fielded oral questions in the National Assembly on Thursday.
He said government is in the process of giving effect to a resolution of the governing party that South Africa should downgrade its embassy in Israel following concerns over the ongoing violation of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the refusal of the government of Israel to enter into meaningful negotiations to find a just and peaceful resolution to this conflict.
“In implementing this conference resolution, we are mindful of South Africa’s responsibility to continue engaging with all parties to the conflict to see where we would be able to provide assistance.
“As such, the South African government remains seized with the modalities of downgrading the South African Embassy in Israel and we will communicate once Cabinet has fully finalised on this matter,” he said.
This comes after the South African government resolved to recall its ambassador to Israel in May last year in protest against the Israeli attack in the occupied Gaza strip at the time.
At the time, the South African government condemned horrific acts of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border. At the time, Israeli forces had opened fire on Palestinians, who were protesting against the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
Addressing Members of Parliament on Thursday, the President said government is concerned about the resurgence of confrontation and conflict in the region. He also expressed a concern about the grave humanitarian cost of further intransigence.
“Our approach is also informed by an appreciation of the constructive role South Africa is being called upon to play in the quest for peace in the Middle East.
“We are clear on our support for the achievement of the Palestinian state, alongside the right of the state of Israel to exist in peace and security with its neighbours,” President Ramaphosa said. – SAnews.gov.za