Question of Palestine home
18 September 2000
st plenary meeting
Monday, 18 September 2000, 3 p.m.
: Mr. Holkeri..............................(Finland)
The meeting was called to order at 3 p.m.
Agenda item 9
: I now give the floor to the Chairman of the delegation of Bahrain, His Excellency Mr. Jassim Mohammed Buallay.
spoke in Arabic
The Middle East peace process has witnessed, and continues to witness, developments, both politically and on the ground, as evidenced by the contacts and negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, including, most importantly, the Camp David summit, held recently under the auspices of the United States of America, with a view to reaching a final agreement between the two parties.
Further, the contacts that have taken place in Washington in search of a possible resumption of negotiations on the Syrian-Israeli track are among the most significant developments in the peace process this year, despite the failure of such efforts owing to Israel’s refusal to withdraw completely from the Syrian Arab Golan to the borders of 4 June 1967.
Insofar as the situation on the ground is concerned, the withdrawal from southern Lebanon, which Israel was forced to carry out as a result of the steadfast opposition and heroic resistance put up by the brotherly Lebanese people against the occupation, constitutes a significant turning point in the peace process and demonstrates that occupation can in no way ensure security.
The developments through which the peace process has gone on all tracks and in all stages have shown that the success of the process and the achievement of the desired just, comprehensive and durable peace are contingent upon the implementation of Security Council resolutions
and of all relevant resolutions of international legality, which call for the withdrawal of Israel from all Arab territories occupied since 1967 and acknowledge the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to establish their own independent state, with Jerusalem as its capital.
In accepting peace, with all the steps it entails, as a strategic option, the Arab side had hoped that Israel would implement all these resolutions and fulfil the terms of all agreements and commitments, as well as abide by the principles of the 1991 Madrid Conference, notably the principle of land for peace.
We believe that a fully comprehensive solution is a fundamental prerequisite for the achievement of a just, durable and comprehensive peace in a region whose peoples have been beset by conflicts and instability, which have drained their resources and abilities in the context of a heated and futile arms race that has deprived all parties of security. In order to save the peace process from total collapse and failure, we call upon the co-sponsors of the peace process and the international community to redouble their efforts and pressure Israel into meeting the requirements of peace by fully implementing all resolutions of international legality.
Aware of the dangers of the proliferation of nuclear weapons, especially in the light of the wars and conflicts that our region has witnessed in recent decades, we in the Middle East, including the Gulf region, have supported all initiatives aimed at freeing the region from all weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons.
In the course of the past eight months alone, Ukraine has deployed a contingent of 650 troops with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). ...
Over the past year an important step forward was taken in advancing one of the integral parts of the Middle East peace process — its Israeli-Lebanese component. The withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon in compliance with Security Council resolution 425 (1978) has created new conditions for further progress in the whole process. Ukraine sincerely hopes that Israel and Syria will also be able to achieve a breakthrough in their stalled negotiation process in the near future, and calls upon the parties to resume the dialogue as soon as possible.
We are following closely the process of solving the core issue of the Middle East problem — the question of Palestine. It is our firm belief that the political wisdom and farsightedness of the Israelis and Palestinians will eventually help them to reach a mutually acceptable compromise. We welcome the 10 September decision by the Palestinian Central Council to postpone the date of proclamation of the State of Palestine. Ukraine hopes that, following strenuous efforts on both sides, the Palestinian people will finally exercise their right to self-determination and to their own statehood.
Mr. Ben Yahia
spoke in Arabic
With regard to the Middle East, we would like to express our regret that the negotiations at the Camp David summit meeting held in July stalled without an agreement that would guarantee a fair settlement of the Palestinian cause. Tunisia, which from the outset has supported the peace process on all tracks, is convinced that it is time to give concrete form to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people to build an independent State, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, in accordance with international law and the terms of reference of the peace process based on the principle of land for peace. Tunisia hopes that the American Administration will continue its good offices, and that other influential parties, such as the European Union, Russia and Japan, will step up their efforts to help the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli Government reach an agreement that would make it possible to establish a just and lasting peace and guarantee the national rights of the Palestinian people in accordance with General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, in particular Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
Achieving a just and lasting peace in the Middle East will also depend on progress on the Syrian track. Israel is called upon to withdraw from the Golan and to comply fully with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). Israel is also called upon to respect the international borders of Lebanon and to refrain from violating the borders drawn by the United Nations.
With regard to the Middle East, we are encouraged by the continued efforts by President Clinton and other leaders to bring both Israel and Palestine to the negotiating table. We are hopeful that a long-lasting solution, which has eluded the region for so long, will be found soon.
spoke in French
In the Middle East, it is following with interest the negotiations underway between the Palestinian and Israeli authorities and believes that the time for the peace of the worthy has now come. The parties to the conflict should seize this historic opportunity and, as President Clinton said: the world should help them to take the risk of embarking on peace.
(Islamic Republic of Iran): This morning the Israeli delegation raised some baseless accusations against my country.
Iran is among those Middle Eastern countries which have joined the most basic international instruments in effect in the disarmament field. My Government is a full party to the main pillars of international disarmament instruments such as the 1925 Geneva Protocol, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention and is a signatory State to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
Despite numerous calls from the international community, Israel refuses to accede to those agreements, and is continuing with its clandestine programmes to develop and produce several kinds of weapons of mass destruction. Israel remains the only non-party to the NPT in the Middle East and, at the same time, its nuclear programme and unsafeguarded facilities continue to be an alarming fact that menace peace and stability in the Middle East.
spoke in Arabic
): This morning, we heard the statement by the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel. Needless to say, his statement was, from our point of view, full of historical and political fallacies, especially as regards Al-Quds, the Palestinian refugees and the peace process in the Middle East. However, my delegation will have the opportunity to reply and to clarify the facts in the statement that Palestine will make in the plenary meeting tomorrow morning.
The meeting rose at 7.05 p.m