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Ramallah, Oxford sign historic twinning Memorandum of Understanding

Dec. 21, 2018, midnight

Head of the Palestinian Mission to the UK Ambassador Husam Zomlot signed a twinning memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the cities of Ramallah and Oxford on behalf of the Municipality of Ramallah and its mayor, Mousa Hadid.

The agreement, which was signed on 17 December, is seen as a first step towards a full twining agreement between the two cities.

According to the agreement, the two cities will work together on initiatives that build on the values of knowledge, experience change, cultural understanding, youth leadership, clean energy and sharing of technical expertise.

Following the signing, Ambassador Zomlot said: “This agreement reflects the depth of friendship between the people of Britain and Palestine.”

The signing ceremony was attended by many councillors, along with supporters of the Oxford-Ramallah Friendship Association (ORFA).

UK Labour Party Councillor John Tanner said that the agreement was long overdue. “Oxford builds bridges not walls. We are thrilled to be setting up this new twin with Ramallah.”

He went on to say that the agreement seeks to “increase understanding and friendship between the peoples of our two cities”.

Last July, the Oxford Council took the decision to work for a twinning link with Ramallah.

The agreement builds on the successful work by the Oxford-Ramallah Friendship Association (ORFA) in an unofficial partnership that spanned over the past 15 years.

ORFA approached the Oxford Council in 2003 when the council advised them to work on friendship links with Ramallah.

Working with youth and women from Al Amari refugee camp was one of the areas that underpinned this partnership.

“We will continue to contribute to strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two countries and the two cities,” added Ambassador Zomlot.

Ramallah Mayor Mousa Hadid is set to visit Oxford in 2019 to strengthen this partnership.

The UK has over a dozen friendship associations and twinning agreements between Palestinian and British towns and cities. These include Hebron and Derby, Dundee and Nablus, Hanwell and Sabastiya, and Camden and Abu Dis.

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