Establishing diplomatic relations
Diplomatic relations between Palestine and Ukraine were established in 2001 and the Embassy of Palestine in Ukraine was opened in the city of Kyiv on 02/11/2001 owing to the efforts deployed by the Palestinian and Ukrainian ministries of foreign affairs. As a result, the first ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the State of Palestine to Ukraine was accredited.
The Embassy of Palestine works to strengthen and develop bilateral relations between Palestine and Ukraine at all levels, as well as cooperation in all issues of common interest. The Embassy also provides all kinds of assistance to the Palestinian community and students residing in this friendly country.
History of diplomatic relations
Ties between Palestine and Ukraine have a long history. Over the centuries, Ukrainian pilgrims visited the Holy Land, namely the cities of Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic recognized the independence of the State of Palestine on November 19, 1988.
Palestine recognized Ukraine’s independence on January 2, 1992.
The friendly relations between the Ukrainian and Palestinian people has a long history.
Over the past decades, thousands of Palestinian students have received their education in Ukrainian universities. Most of them have returned home and work successfully in the public and private sectors and in various fields of economy, and many of them were employed in senior positions (ministers, ambassadors, etc.), and dozens of Palestinians are still residing and working in Ukraine.
On the other hand, Palestine is considered to be a home to a large number of mixed Palestinian-Ukrainian families who have family relations as well as business ties with Ukraine. The human factor plays an important role in bilateral relationships.
Ukraine has recognized the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. It calls for a peaceful solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict using political and diplomatic means on the basis of the provisions of the Road Map, relevant United Nations resolutions and previous agreements signed by the two parties, and the implementation of the principle of two states (Israel and Palestine), living side by side in peace and security.
The bilateral political dialogue between the two countries was launched in November 1996 during the official visit of Leonid Kuchma, the President of Ukraine to the Palestinian National Authority, during which negotiations with Yasser Arafat, the President of the Palestinian National Authority were held in Ramallah.
In April 1999, the President of the Palestinian National Authority Yasser Arafat visited Kyiv and conducted negotiations with the President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma.
In January 2000, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma paid a working visit to the Palestinian National Authority to participate in the celebration of the 2000th Anniversary of Christianity in Bethlehem, and held a meeting with the President of the Palestinian National Authority Yasser Arafat.
In November 2007, Viktor Yushchenko, the President of Ukraine, paid an official visit to Palestine, where during the negotiations with Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian National Authority, an agreement was reached to open the Ukrainian mission to the Palestinian National Authority.
Dialogue at the level of Foreign Ministries
On May 28, 2012 Yevhen Mykytenko, the Special Representative of Ukraine to the Middle East and Africa, visited Palestine where he partook in political consultations held between the Ukrainian and the Palestinian Ministries of Foreign Affairs.
On 25 September 2014, in the framework of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Pavlo Klimkin, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine met with Riyad Al-Maliki, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Palestine.
During the period between April 14-15, 2016 Tayseer Jaradat, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Palestine visited Kyiv where the second round of bilateral political consultations was held.
During the period between June 11-12, 2018 Mrs. Myroslava Shcherbatiuk, Director of the Middle East and Africa Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, visited Palestine where the third round of bilateral political consultations was held.
Trade, economic and investment cooperation between Ukraine and Palestine
According to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, for the period from 2015 to 2019, the volume of Ukrainian exports, which account for 99.9% of bilateral trade, increased from 10.1 million USD to 27.3 million USD.
In 2020 Ukraine exported 26.3 million USD worth of goods to Palestine (96.4% of the figures for 2019).
Its general structure includes the following main product groups: fats and oils of animal or vegetable origin – 32.7%; products of the flour and cereal industry – 31.0%; sugar and confectionery – 14.2%; finished grain products – 7.5%; plastics and polymeric materials – 3.8%.
According to the Palestinian side, the annual volume of imported goods of Ukrainian origin is 85-90 million USD.
There are products in Palestine which may be of interest to Ukrainian importers: dates, olive oil, citrus, berries and herbs.
The volume of commercial services provided by Ukraine in 2020 amounted to 847.5 thousand USD (81% of the figures for 2019), Palestinian commercial services – 44.7 thousand USD.
In 2018, a delegation of the Hebron Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the economic and financial center of Palestine, visited Kyiv, where the first Ukrainian-Palestinian business forum took place.
Ukrainians in Palestine
More than 3,500 Ukrainian citizens reside in Palestine, about 2,000 of them in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the rest in the Gaza Strip. The vast majority of them are Ukrainian women married to Palestinians and their children.