NEW YORK – At the United Nations Security Council’s Quarterly Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates reaffirmed its support for regional and international efforts to push the Middle East Peace Process forward. The UAE lauded the adoption of Security Council resolution 2334 (2016), and the signing of the intra-Palestinian agreement on 12 October 2017 in Cairo as positives steps. Further, the UAE strongly commended the efforts of the Arab Republic of Egypt in the reunification of the Palestinian People and in promoting stability in the region.

In a statement delivered by Mr. Ahmad Al Mahmoud Second Secretary of the Permanent Mission of the UAE to the UN, the UAE stressed the importance of States respecting their obligations under international law and the UN Charter to prevent the spread of conflict. The UAE called for the the international community to hold States that support and finance terrorism accountable, and to demonstrate zero tolerance for whomever offers assistance or safe-havens to terrorist groups.

Mr. Al Mahmoud noted that despite the serious international efforts to achieve peace in the region, Israel continues to violate international laws and resolutions by expanding its illegal settlement activities. He stated that the illegal Israeli practices against the Palestinian people have resulted in the deterioration of the humanitarian, economic and social conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, resulting in a situation which continues to be exploited by terrorist groups to spread extremism and violence in the Middle East. He added that this situation has hindered a two-state solution.

The UAE reiterated the need to end the Israeli Occupation and to grant the Palestinian people their inalienable rights, including their right to establish an independent Palestinian State based on the June 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with all relevant international resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative, and the Madrid Principles.

Mr. Al Mahmoud stressed the importance of providing support to meet the needs of the Palestinian people, as well as empowering them to build their state and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The UAE has provided additional contributions to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to enable the agency to deliver basic services for the Palestinian people, including nutrition, education and health. The UAE statement stressed the need to continue the work in order to reach a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian cause.

In addition, the UAE reaffirmed its commitment to restoring stability to the region, highlighting that the absence of security in the region has caused a significant loss of life, displacement of people, and destruction of economic and social infrastructure.

Furthermore, the UAE reiterated its support for the UN’s efforts to bring peace to Libya, Syria, and Yemen, by negotiating comprehensive and political solutions, and noted that political solutions are the only way to restore stability in these countries.