Senior PLO official Ashrawi resigns, calls for Palestinian political reforms
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Veteran Palestinian negotiator and women's rights advocate Hanan Ashrawi resigned on Wednesday from her senior post in the Palestine Liberation Organization, and called for political reforms. Ashrawi, 74, did not give a reason for her resignation in a statement announcing the move. But she said that the PLO's Executive Committee, on which she served, had been marginalised 'and [excluded] from decision-making'
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Veteran Palestinian negotiator and women's rights advocate Hanan Ashrawi resigned on Wednesday from her senior post in the Palestine Liberation Organization, and called for political reforms.
Ashrawi, 74, did not give a reason for her resignation in a statement announcing the move. But she said that the PLO's Executive Committee, on which she served, had been marginalised "and [excluded] from decision-making".
The 15-member committee, the most senior body of the PLO, is headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and is not often convened by the 85-year-old leader.
"The Palestinian political system needs renewal and reinvigoration with the inclusion of youth, women and additional qualified professionals," Ashrawi said in her statement, adding that she had tendered her resignation to Abbas.
"I believe it is time to carry out the required reform and to activate the PLO in a manner that restores its standing and role."
In a brief statement, Abbas said he had accepted Ashrawi's resignation.
Critics accuse Abbas of allowing Palestinian political institutions under his authority in the West Bank to stagnate. There have been no presidential or parliamentary elections for the Palestinian Authority, which he heads, for more than a decade.
Ashrawi's negotiating days date back to the earliest public, U.S.-mediated talks with Israel in 1991 at the Madrid Conference, where as PLO spokeswoman she articulated the Palestinian quest for statehood to the world.
Following the signing of the Oslo Accords with Israel in 1993, Ashrawi served in the cabinet of the newly-formed Palestinian Authority, which has limited self-rule in the West Bank.
A champion of women's rights, Ashrawi was the first woman elected to the Executive Committee in 2009. She was re-elected to the group in 2018 and has headed its Department of Public Diplomacy and Policy.
(This story corrects in paragraph 1 that Ashrawi has resigned effective immediately, rather than at the end of 2020.)
(Reporting by Rami Ayyub, Ali Sawafta and Nidal al-Mughrabi; Editing by Jeffrey Heller, Mark Heinrich and Alexandra Hudson)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.