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Department of Public Information (DPI)
28 September 2009
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
Sixty-fourth General Assembly
Meetings (AM & PM)
The General Assembly met this morning to continue its general debate.
SHAIKH KHALID BIN AHMED BIN MOHAMED AL KHALIFA, Minister of Foreign Affairs of
Turning to the prolonged Arab-Israeli conflict, he said the Middle East peace process required greater political and diplomatic efforts to reach a two-State solution as part of a comprehensive and just settlement, based on equal security for all nations. The failure to end that conflict was due to the lack of a methodology based on a balanced peace, as well as the conspicuous absence of a binding mechanism of implementation.
The Arab Peace Initiative unequivocally confirmed the Arab position that peace was a strategic and irreversible option, he continued. Bahrain expected the international community, particularly the leading Powers, to exert pressure on Israel to conform to relevant international resolutions and the requirements of the Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative. This would include a freeze and dismantlement of all Israeli settlements created in the territories.
He commended the speech delivered last week by United States President Barack Obama, and said Bahrain considered it a term of reference for resumption of the Middle East peace process.
WALID AL-MOUALEM, Minister for Foreign Affairs of
, said that the Middle East was among the most tension-ridden regions of the world, and the situation there remained “ominous”. Despite calls for comprehensive solutions, “paying lip service” to the need for peace was categorically different from working towards that goal. He said that Israel had “no qualms” about committing internationally forbidden acts and breaching international law, as it had been encouraged and protected by the previous Administration in Washington.
He said Israel continued to lay a “stifling siege” to Gaza in contravention of the most rudimentary humanitarian principles and tenets of international law. He pointed to the recent report or the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on Gaza, saying that it had found Israel to have committed “grave violations” of international law, including war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.
While the new reprioritization of the problem in the Middle East was reassuring, the engagement by the new United States Administration, members of the Security Council, the European Union, the Organization for Islamic Conference (OIC), and the Non-Aligned Movement had been continuously countered by Israeli measures and positions that ignored rudimentary “givens” of the peace process. He said Israel had refused to freeze illegitimate settlement building and by so doing was in breach of its obligations under international law. Moreover, Israel continued to confiscate Palestinian lands, build its “apartheid wall”, and expel inhabitants from their homes.
Continuing that thread, he stressed that peace and occupation could not coexist. Syria sought a strategic peace based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). To that end, he said Syria had entered into indirect talks with Israel through Turkish mediators and sought to arrive at a common ground that would ultimately enable the launch of direct negotiations. However, the absence of genuine political will to make peace, and Israel’s “war of aggression” waged against Gaza earlier in the year, had brought this pursuit to a halt.
GHAZI SALAHUDDIN ATABANI, Advisor to the President of the
Indeed, he continued, unilateral sanctions hostile to trade and investment had violated international law, while a misused concept of terrorism had led to equating victims with aggressors, as was the case with the Palestinians. Their situation had gravely compromised the United Nations’ reputation. On the basis of the African position, he called for revitalizing the United Nations and reforming the Security Council, and more closely integrating the United Nations and regional organizations to promote development.
YOUSEF BIN ALAWI BIN ABDULLAH, Minister of Foreign Affairs of
, declared that the United Nations had made great achievements in its more than 60 years of existence. However, the Palestinian issue remained unsolved despite the efforts of Arab countries and the wider international community. The Arab Peace Initiative was the most appropriate way to settle the Arab-Israeli conflict, which should include the return of Arab lands occupied since 1967, the establishment of an independent Palestinian State on the west Bank and the removal of all illegal Israeli settlements. “We call upon Israel to seize the historical opportunity to establish a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East,” he said.
OLDEMIRO BALOI, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of
... In the Middle East, Mozambique supported a two-State solution and broader Arab-Israeli normalization. ...
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