Riyad Al Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Palestine
In dialogue with Lucia Goracci, RAI and Hugh Lovatt, Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)
While the recent signing of the “Abraham Accords” between Israel and some Arab States could be a game-changer in the Middle East, they have been rejected by the Palestinian Authority and several regional States, which instead remain committed to the Arab Peace initiative, a pan-Arab roadmap long advocated by the Palestinians that calls for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories and acceptance of Palestinian statehood, offering diplomatic normalization with the Arab world in return. As new diplomatic pathways unfold, relations between the Palestinians and Israelis may nonetheless revive through well-established and long-standing negotiation channels. The recent announcement of the Palestinian Authority to resume cooperation with Israel after more than 6 months may be a positive step in this direction. In parallel, the recent victory of democratic nominee Joe Biden in the U.S. presidential elections could open a new chapter for the Palestinians while also encouraging a deeper political engagement by European countries. At the same time, by exacerbating long-standing socio-economic difficulties in the Palestinian territories, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the urgent need to solve the Israeli-Palestinian issue through a more inclusive and shared multilateral platform.
His Excellency Riyad Al Malki was appointed in 2009 as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates for Palestine. In 2016 he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Palestinian Agency for International Cooperation (PICA). He previously served as Minister of Information, as well as Spokesperson for the Palestinian Government, from 2007 to 2009. In 2007 he was also the Minister of Justice. In 1991 he founded the Panorama Foundation for the Dissemination of Democracy and served as Director General till 2007. Between 1981 and 1996 he was a Lecturer and Head of Civil Engineering Department at Birzeit University. His Excellency holds a bachelor’s, master’s and PhD in Civil Engineering from the Pontifical University of Xavier Colombia and NYU Tech respectively.