RAMALLAH, June 13, 2013 (WAFA) – The Palestine News Agency ‘WAFA’ Thursday hosted for the first time the Alliance of Mediterranean News Agencies ‘AMAN’ for its 22nd General Assembly meeting, which will officially start on Friday.
WAFA Chairman of Board Riyad al-Hasan said that this is a precedent in WAFA’s history to host such a prestigious group, which will work to strengthen relations and pave the way for future cooperation.
He said that this conference is also an act of support and solidarity with Palestine and its efforts for statehood at the United Nations General Assembly.
Many projects and plans are expected to be implemented with the help of AMAN members, said al-Hasan. “It is an achievement for Palestine because we were able to host members of top news agencies.”
George Pentintaex, AMAN acting director – CNA, said that the conference comes in an attempt to bridge the gap between the agencies through a number of activities, such as trainings, and other mutual events between these agencies.
He said that all agencies from around the Mediterranean come from different backgrounds, which is typically going to create differences. However, AMAN aims to bring together these agencies to further understand and learn from each other.
CEO and Chairman of the Portuguese News Agency ‘Lusa’ Afonso Camoes echoed Pentintaex idea. He said that this conference aims to establish more relations and affirm solidarity with Palestine and WAFA’s attempts to grow.
It is also a chance to exchange views and help WAFA in its pursuit to explain to the world the Palestinian reality, he said.
Almost half of the participants arrived a day or two earlier to live the Palestinian experience.
The guests took the opportunity to visit a number of sites in Jerusalem and Ramallah and to relax before the ceremony and the general assembly’s work starts on Friday.
Bahija Belmabrouk, a journalist reporter for the Tunisian News Agency and the winner in the competition which AMAN holds in the category of the written text, said that her prize was being able to come to Palestine.
She said that visiting Palestine made her witness firsthand Palestine’s readiness to become an independent and sovereign state.
Belmabrouk visited the late leader Yasser Arafat’s grave in Ramallah before she even arrived at the hotel due to the special and unique place Arafat holds in the hearts of all Tunisians, as she put it.
She and other AMAN members all shared the same feelings regarding this visit. They saw it as a chance to see the real Palestine, express solidarity and help improve the work of WAFA.
Source: WAFA News