Delivered by H.E. Lana Nusseibeh, Assistant Minister for Political Affairs
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Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies,
The UAE aligns itself with the statement delivered by Algeria on behalf of the Arab Group. And I would like to also add my thanks to Niger, Algeria, and Azerbaijan for requesting on behalf of the OIC, the Arab Group, and NAM to convene this important meeting.
The UAE has been gravely concerned by the escalating spiral of violence in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. We offer our condolences to all the families of those killed and join others in calling for an immediate cessation of violence and hostilities. In this vein, we thank Secretary-General António Guterres for his statement, and his appeal for an immediate ceasefire, and his call on all parties to initiate a political dialogue and exercise maximum restraint. We welcome the news today of a ceasefire agreement, and hope that it is durable, lasting, and might contribute to the resumption of a credible wider peace process while restoring calm and building confidence between the parties at the same time. The events of the past two weeks have been a somber reminder of the urgent need for peaceful dialogue aimed at a long-term solution to ending this conflict and bringing peace to our entire region.
The UAE is alarmed by the actions against the Palestinian people since early May, in violation of international law, including at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the forced displacement of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, which led to civilian casualties including women and children.
We stress that Israel must comply with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law, and with all relevant United Nations resolutions. In particular, Israel must protect Palestinian civilians, cease building settlements and demolishing Palestinian property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and halt the forcible displacement of Palestinians.
In addition, my country underscores the fundamental importance of upholding the status of Jerusalem, in compliance with relevant United Nations resolutions. We further emphasize the right of the Palestinian people to freely practice their religions and the importance of respecting the role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem and in preserving their legal and historical status quo. The sanctity of Jerusalem as a city of historic and religious importance for all three Abrahamic faiths must be upheld and protected.
The ongoing violence of the past two weeks and the growing number of civilian casualties indicate that we must redouble international efforts to find a just, comprehensive, and lasting peaceful solution to the Palestinian issue consistent with relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.
The UAE reaffirms its readiness to support all regional and international efforts aimed at advancing the Middle East peace process and achieving the two-state solution through the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state based on the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with relevant UN resolutions, Madrid references, and the Arab Peace Initiative.
We remain deeply concerned by the backdrop of the wider deteriorating humanitarian and economic conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which have worsened with the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic and which underline the urgent need to reach a lasting solution. We further stress the need for the international community to provide support to the Palestinian people, most urgently through the provision of vaccines and medical equipment.
The UAE will continue to work with our regional and international partners to achieve a better future for Palestinian, Arab, and Israeli generations who deserve to live in safety and dignity in a stable and prosperous region. This cannot simply be the latest round of violence; it must be the last. This conflict, and these cycles of violence have endured for too long and can only be stopped by achieving real and lasting peace. The youth of our region, on all sides, cannot and must not be condemned to unending hatred out of a failure to recognize that the far braver stance would be to chart a lasting course to peace.
Thank you, Mr. President.