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Source: Qatar
13 February 2007

Qatar warns against violating the Islamic sanctities at the occupied city of Al-Quds

New York/QNA/13 Feb.2007/The State of Qatar has warned that the violation of Islamic sanctities in the occupied city of Al-Quds would have grave consequences on peace and security in the region. Qatar has further said that this represents a dangerous escalation that would have untold repercussions at the level of the region and the entire Islamic world. H.E. Ambassador Nasser Abdelaziz Al-Nasr, the permanent representative of the State of Qatar in the United Nations said in a speech which he delivered yesterday before the Security Council during the open debate on the situation in the Middle East that the Palestinian territories witnessed recently another sort of escalation by the Israeli authorities when they undertook measures that were more hazardous to peace and security in the region. This time they violated the sanctity of the Holy Mosque in eastern Jerusalem ( Al-Quds). Israel allowed excavations work and demolishing of the historical road leading to the Moroccan gate- one of the main gates adjacent to the western wall of the Holy Mosque.

H.E. Ambassador Nasser went on to say that these excavations, regardless of the flimsy excuses offered by the Israeli government, are part of a pattern in a series of measures undertaken by Israel in order to change the legal status of the occupied city of Al-Quds and its demographic structure as well as its religious and Islamic features. He stressed that such measures and procedures are null and void as was repeatedly underlined by the Security Council and the General Assembly in the Resolution 465 of 1980. The violation of Islamic sanctities, in addition, represents a dangerous escalation that is likely to have grave consequences at the level of the region and the entire Islamic world.

The State of Qatar has reaffirmed the importance of forming a Palestinian national unity government with a view to ending the present crisis. He underscored that it is encouraging to see today a fruitful outcome for the dialogue taking place in Holy Makkah last week between Fatah and Hamas movements, in culmination of the good efforts exerted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which resulted in mandating Ismail Haniya, the current Prime Minister, to form a national unity government.

H.E. Ambassador Nasser Abdelaziz Al-Nasr confirmed that such a step will not only help stanch the blood of Palestinians but will also rather be necessary and essential for facilitating the resumption of the peace process. He said that the State of Qatar hopes that the formation of a Palestinian national unity government will enhance closing ranks of Palestinian brethren in a way which help realize the aspirations of the brotherly Palestinian people and maintain their national unity.

H.E. Ambassador Al-Nasr also expressed hope that the new government would mark the opening of a new chapter and that the Palestinians and the Israelis alike would positively benefit from such step. He called on all relevant parties to provide support to the Palestinian authority; he also appealed, to those who responded to Israeli pressure, to uplift the embargo imposed on the Palestinian people whose conditions became the worst in the world. H.E. Ambassador Abdelaziz disclosed that since the adoption of Resolution 1701/2006 the situation was predominantly calm in the border area between Lebanon and Israel, with the exception of the Israel's air force breaches of the Lebanese airspace, in addition to the latest incident in which there was an exchange of fire between the two sides after an Israeli bulldozer crossed the borders at night under the pretext that their were some explosives to the north of the barb-wired border strip. He underlined the need that the two parties strictly adhere to halting hostilities, as any mere minor breach might precipitate a setback and hence endanger stability in the region. He called on the Security Council to deal seriously with the Israeli breaches of the Lebanese airspace, stressing that it is deplorable that the Security Council did not issue any condemnation to these acts. He indicated that the next meeting of the Quartet will be in Berlin within a few days, reaffirming that the State of Qatar hopes that the Quartet will lend an important impetus by reactivating the stagnant peace process in the Middle East. He emphasized that the State of Qatar truly believes in the vital role of the Quartet which he described as unparalleled.

The permanent representative of the State of Qatar has further stressed the need for the Security Council to give more consideration to this issue, revitalize the peace process and undertake an active role with a view to reaching a lasting, comprehensive and just settlement for the Palestinian issue and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

H.E. The Ambassador also reaffirmed that the Permanent and comprehensive solution should fit within the context of international legitimacy, the past agreed frameworks as well as be on the basis of the relevant Security Council's resolutions, the tenets of the peace process and the Road Map plan. It is worth-mentioning that H.E. The Ambassador initiated his speech before the Council by extending his thanks to the president of the Council for convening this significant session at a duly opportune time to discuss the item relating to the situation in the Middle East which he confirmed would continue to remain among the priority topics of the Council. He also extended thanks to Mr. Alfaro De Sotto, the special coordinator of the Middle East peace process and the personal representative of the United Nations Secretary General for attending and briefing the Council on behalf of the Secretary General. He concluded by saying :"I would like to add my voice to the statement by the Arab Group which will be delivered later".

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