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25 October 2000
Letter dated 24 October 2000 from the Permanent Representative
of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations
addressed to the President of the Security Council
The letter dated 7 October 2000 from the Permanent Representative of Israel addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2000/969), which holds the Governments of Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic responsible for events in south Lebanon, does not reflect reality and makes no reference to the causes of the dangerous situation currently prevailing in our region.
The Permanent Mission of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations would therefore like to make the following clarifications:
1. Security and peace in the region are imperilled by Israel’s persistence in ignoring the resolutions of international legitimacy, in particular, Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), its failure to complete its withdrawal from south Lebanon, including the Shab`a farmlands, to the internationally recognized boundaries and its continued occupation of Arab lands seized by force in June 1967.
2. Israel’s continued detention of scores of Lebanese citizens and thousands of Palestinians, the measures taken by the occupation forces against the civilian population in the occupied territories, the building of settlements and the attempt to Judaize Jerusalem are factors that contribute to the permanently explosive situation in the region and a blatant violation of the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and of international law and international humanitarian law.
3. Syria rejects the Israeli accusations and threats contained in the aforementioned letter. Syria itself shows scrupulous respect for the resolutions of international legitimacy and is striving to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the region. It therefore holds Israel directly responsible for the escalation of the situation in the Middle East and urges the Security Council to bring pressure to bear on Israel to comply with the Security Council resolutions concerning the Arab-Israeli struggle, which require Israel to withdraw completely from all the Arab territories occupied in 1967 and to guarantee the Palestinian people its legitimate rights.
The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, concerned for the peace process that has been suspended by the Israeli Government, calls upon the international community, and the United Nations in particular, to take all necessary measures to halt the bloody and oppressive practices that Israel employs against the Palestinian people and to condemn the threats which Israel directs towards both Syria and Lebanon. The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic also wishes to reaffirm that a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East region can be achieved only by compelling Israel to respect the resolutions of international legitimacy and to implement Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the principle of land for peace, which will entail that State’s complete withdrawal from the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967.
I should be grateful if you would have this letter circulated as a document of the Security Council.