CAIRO: Members of the secretariat general and permanent bureau of the Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ) attend a meeting in Cairo.

CAIRO: The Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ) condemned the US Middle East peace plan that was announced by President Donald Trump under the name "Deal of the Century," and said it is a flagrant encroachment on Palestinian rights, homes, property and freedoms. This came in the closing statement of the secretariat general and permanent bureau of FAJ following a two-day meeting in Cairo.

The federation said the American plan gives legitimacy to the Israel occupation of Palestinian territory contrary to all international laws and principles of international peace, and actual participation in aggression and crimes committed by the Zionist occupier against the Palestinian people. The federation said the American administration, in view of the dangerous stands it took with total bias in favor of the Israeli enemy, shed all the specifications and conditions of mediation because it can never be a judge and an antagonist at the same time.

It called upon unions and the Arab elite to make Arab people aware of the dangers of this deal on the Palestinian cause and the Arab world, which gives Jerusalem to the Israeli occupation as a unified capital and instills the legitimacy of its occupation of the Palestinian territories, "and there is no presence of the name of a Palestinian state in reality in this deal."

It said the "deal" represents encroachments on Egyptian, Syrian, Lebanese and Jordan borders, and appreciated the positive reactions by the honest Arab and world people. The federation urged media organizations in the Arab world to hold activities and programs to face this Zionist plan and be keen to intensify messages and calls to face normalization, which represents a breach of popular and professional steadfastness.

The federation appealed to its colleagues in unions, federations and journalism societies to open means of cooperation with Palestinian journalists, support and coordinate with them over what they face in the form of naked aggression against their rights. It confirmed its adherence to the unity and sovereignty of Arab countries and rejection of fragmentation, separation and foreign interference.

It expressed its conditions and criminalization of any attack against journalists, and condemned the treatment of journalists in Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon, in addition to targeting of Syrian journalists during the "Turkish aggression against Syria." The federation asked Arab governments to deal with the journalism profession in light of the recent developments, and the necessity to review legislations that restrict freedoms, and issue legislations that allow the Arab media to practice a wider horizon of freedoms.

The federation expressed its full support to the Sudan Journalists Federation against the "direct attack against freedom of unions," calling for coordinating efforts with the International Journalists Federation in order to find solutions to support Sudanese journalists and their legitimate right to choose their representatives. It also expressed its intention during its next conference to follow issues in a way that serves journalism and journalists.

The federation said the freedom of journalism and expression is under the worst form of attack and restrictions, and that is in jailing journalists, use of the judiciary to convict them and deliberate killings, in addition to other means of restriction and discrimination that limit this freedom. The federation renewed its extreme condemnation of all these regressive practices and demanded the immediate release of all journalists and to activate the principle of not escaping punishment for those who commit crimes of murdering journalists.

It called for immunizing the freedom of journalism with legal guarantees so media can carry out its role in supervision and publishing news and information, in addition to hosting general discussions of various important issues that are of interest to the Arab people and provide a suitable environment to get a new generation of political, social and economic reforms. It said this will not materialize without reconsidering legislations regulating freedom of journalism and expression so they become void of punishments that take freedom away.

FAJ members agreed to hold their next conference in Lebanon during the first week of April and accepted membership of the Djibouti journalists union, in addition to welcoming the return of the Jordanian Journalists Union. The federation's meetings were attended by Kuwait Journalists Association Secretary Adnan Al-Rashed in his capacity as Vice-president of the Federation, KJA Treasurer Jassem Kamal, Member of Freedoms Committee Dhairan Aba Al-Khail and KJA member of the board Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan.