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The Acting President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Hamady Ould Hamady, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
I believe that the Israeli-Arab conflict is a source of tension and a threat to peace and security in a sensitive and vital region of the world. My country supports efforts for peace that will guarantee the recovery of all the rights of the Palestinian people and the creation of an independent Palestinian State within the 4 June 1967 borders, with its capital in Jerusalem, coexisting in peace and security with the State of Israel.
This is why the Islamic Republic of Mauritania calls on the international community to recognize Palestine as an independent sovereign State and to facilitate its full membership of the United Nations on the basis of the request made last week by Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, Executive Secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian Authority. We must be faithful to the historic responsibilities of the international community towards Palestine; uphold justice, credibility and fairness with regard to this question; and ensure respect for the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy. We condemn the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip and the acts committed by the Israeli military machine, killing civilians and destroying Palestinian facilities.
The Acting President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Abubakr A. Al-Qirbi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Yemen.
The Israeli-Arab conflict represents the main threat to international peace and security. An objective understanding of the conflict clearly shows Israel’s intransigence and its Government’s policy of establishing settlements, its rejection of the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, its refusal to abide by international legality, and its rejection of the Arab Peace Initiative. We call upon the international community and the peace sponsors, including the United States of America, to continue their efforts to achieve universal recognition of a sovereign State of Palestine and to allow it to join the United Nations as a fully fledged Member of the Organization and other world organizations and organs.
The Acting President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Sergey Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
The situation in the Middle East could be significantly improved by progress in the negotiation process, on the basis of the main parameters defined and recorded in Security Council resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference and the Arab Peace Initiative, and reiterated in the Quartet ministerial statement of 23 September. The only viable basis for a settlement is the coexistence of Palestinian and Israeli States in peace and security. We support the Palestinians’ application to the Security Council and welcome the readiness reiterated by the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mr. Abbas, to hold talks with Israel on the basis of the existing international legal framework.
The President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Djibrill Ypènè Bassolé, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation of Burkina Faso.
In the Middle East we closely follow the progress of the Palestinian question, and we support Palestine’s request to be admitted to the United Nations as a full Member State. We reiterate our call for a lasting, comprehensive peace in the region that guarantees the freedom and right to self-determination of the Palestinian people and the security of the State of Israel.
The President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Pham Binh Minh, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.
... As regards Palestine’s application for full membership in the United Nations Organization, Viet Nam wishes to underline the fact that we recognized the State of Palestine in 1988. We have always supported the just struggle of the Palestinian people for their inalienable rights, including the right to establish an independent and sovereign State that coexists peacefully with Israel with the pre-June 1967 borders. In that spirit, we affirm our strong support for Palestine’s efforts to soon become a full United Nations Member.
The President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
I would like to touch upon another important issue of the international agenda — Palestine. Azerbaijan reaffirms its adherence to the position expressed by the majority of the United Nations Member States. We reiterate our long-standing solidarity with the people and leadership of Palestine, and believe that the time has come to reach a breakthrough in that long-standing and very important issue. The time has come for Palestine to be fully represented at the United Nations.
The President: I now call on His Excellency Dato Sri Anifah Aman, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malaysia.
We support the application of the Palestinians to the United Nations and welcome the readiness of both parties to hold talks on the basis of the existing international legal framework. In that connection, Malaysia fully supports the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to an independent State of Palestine, based on the two-State solution, taking into account the security concerns of both parties.
The President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Nassirou Bako Arifari, Minister for Foreign Affairs, African Integration, Francophonie and Beninese Abroad of the Republic of Benin.
In conclusion, I want to note that recent history teaches us that the greatest threats to international peace and security come from peoples who have long been frustrated. The Palestinian question makes the Arab nation a frustrated nation. The United Nations today has the means to find a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian problem, and it must not fail to meet its historic responsibility.
We support a free and independent Palestinian State living in peaceful coexistence with the State of Israel. Benin gives ongoing support to the one-land, two-State solution and calls upon the Security Council to facilitate the prompt resolution of the problem, to bring relief to the Palestinian people, who endure daily suffering.
We believe in the virtue of mediation. The choice of that option as a way to resolve conflicts around the world in this sixty-sixth session of the Assembly offers a last chance for the two parties to re-engage in dialogue to finally bring lasting peace to the Middle East and to the world. The peace that we all so wish for must be based on universal respect for the cardinal principles and fundamental values contained in the United Nations Charter.
The President: I now call on His Excellency Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States of the Observer State of the Holy See.
A final observation concerns Palestine’s request for recognition as a Member State of the United Nations, made here on 23 September by the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas. The Holy See views this initiative as an attempt to find a definitive solution, with the support of the international community, to the question already addressed by the General Assembly in its resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947. That fundamental document sets down the legal framework for the existence of two States. One of them has already been born, while the other has not yet been established, although nearly 65 years have passed.
The Holy See is convinced that if one desires peace, brave decisions must be taken. It hopes that the competent bodies of the United Nations are resolved to help effectively implement the final objective, that is, achieving the Palestinians’ right to have their own independent and sovereign State and the Israelis’ right to security, both States with internationally recognized borders.
The response of the United Nations, whatever it may be, will not be a complete solution. Lasting peace can be achieved only through good-faith negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, avoiding actions or conditions that contradict declarations of goodwill. The Holy See therefore urges the parties to return to negotiations with resolve. It urgently appeals to the international community to increase its commitment and stimulate its creativity and initiatives in order to reach a lasting peace, in respect for the rights of the Israelis and the Palestinians.
The President: As representatives are aware, this afternoon the General Assembly will conclude its deliberations on agenda item 8, “General debate”. It is my intention to present some concluding remarks at the end of that meeting.