Addressing the annual summit of the African Union (AU) leaders, the chairman of the bloc heavily criticized the U.S.’ so-called peace plan in Middle East.

“We all suffered from the unresolved Palestinian right to self-determination and dignity. The American-Israeli peace plan, the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’, had been prepared without any consultation with Palestinians. It is a violation of the charter of the African Union and United Nations,” Moussa Faki Mahamat said.

Mahamat’s remarks came during his opening speech at the 33rd Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

“We have to feel the heightened tension the peace deal invites to the Middle East and beyond. The African solidarity with the people of Palestine will never change,” he said.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shatty said the AU vision to silence the guns has an immediate relevance to the people of Palestine who has been suffering from the Israeli occupation.

“We are committed to silencing the guns of Israeli occupation,” he said.

“We are proud of Africa that stand by the Palestinian people in a principled manner to realize our aspirations of a statehood on the 1967 borders and Jerusalem being the capital,” he added.

“The Trump-Israeli peace plan has no international support,” Shatty stated.

Palestine has an observer status in the African Union, and Palestinian leaders address annual summits of African Union.

Also addressing the event, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed what he described as Africa’s unwavering solidarity with the people of Palestine.

African leaders meet in 33rd annual summit

The African leaders are meeting in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Sunday for the annual meeting of the African Union (AU) leaders.

The 33rd summit of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government is being held under the theme of Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development.

Silencing the Guns is a commitment that the leaders vowed seven years ago to end all wars and conflicts by 2020, but failed.

The two-day leaders’ summit is being attended by more than 35 heads of state and government, as well as representatives of regional and international organizations.

“Heightened tensions from terrorism challenges Africa,” Moussa Faki Mahamat, the AU Commission chairman, said in his opening speech, indicating that conflicts and the scourge of terrorism are rife in the Sahel region and the Horn of Africa, with war raging in Libya.

“Civilians die every day and children are seeing their schools closing,” he said, pointing out the lack of solidarity among Africans to silence the guns by eliminating conflicts and their root causes.

Other headline issues to be deliberated upon during the summit include sustainable funding of Africa’s development agenda, specifically addressing the scale of assessment and contributions to the AU’s budget; progress made in the implementation of the 2063 agenda; operationalization of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); African candidatures in the international system, the International Criminal Court, and Africa’s digital transformation strategy.