Namibia’s policy of ‘being friends to all and enemy of none’ does exist, and does not create a moral and political dilemma in the execution of the country’s international relations policy, international relations executive director Penda Naanda has said.
Naanda said this on Wednesday while responding to remarks made by Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) academic Marius Kudumo, who, during an interview, with NBC, claimed the ministry was contradicting its policy of ‘being friends to all and enemy of none’, by saying Namibia takes what Israel is doing as good in relation to what Palestine is doing.
“We refute Kudumo’s statement as misleading and a misrepresentation of facts. Namibia’s enemies continue to be poverty, unemployment and diseases such the HIV, Malaria, TB and the current Covid-19 pandemic,” said Naanda.
He said the state of Israel is not an enemy to Namibia, and cannot be treated as such.
“Namibia and Israel established diplomatic relations in 1994, at a time when the Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat showed willingness to solve the 100-year-old conflict in the Middle East, an effort Namibia aimed to encourage,” he added.
He said the hope for peace between Israel and Palestine was shattered when the process that began with the Oslo Accord of 1993 ended with the last negotiating sessions at Taba in Egypt during 2001.
In the many carefully negotiated agreements since then, Naanda said, there were positive developments and a number of setbacks.
“Namibia will not abandon the principle of self-determination and, as such, will continue to support the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupation and the expansion of illegal Jewish settlements,” he said.
He said, this does, however, not mean Namibia would sever her diplomatic relations with Israel.
Naanda also said Namibia is committed to the Middle East peace process for a lasting settlement of the Palestinian issue.
“The focus should be on peaceful negotiations within the framework of UN resolutions. The establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, existing side-by-side with Israel, is the only way to achieve lasting peace and security in the Middle East,” he said.