Delivered by: His Excellency Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative
I would first like to thank the Special Coordinator, Mr. Tor Wennesland, for his comprehensive briefing.
The recent events in the Occupied Palestinian Territory have reminded us of the urgent need to intensify diplomatic efforts, at the regional and international levels, to reduce escalation and build confidence. We must emphasize the need to exercise restraint and utilize dialogue. Direct negotiations are the only way to guarantee both sides’ security and stability.
We therefore welcome the diplomatic momentum that we witnessed last week on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly to explore ways to coordinate international efforts to revive the peace process. This includes the meeting organized by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the League of Arab States, and the European Union, in cooperation with the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which presented positive proposals to support peace and maintain the two-state solution.
Looking ahead, we hope that the international community will take concrete steps towards the resumption of serious and meaningful negotiations between the two parties. Such negotiations should be based on agreed-upon international references, including UN relevant resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.
The UAE affirms the need to stop all illegal practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the repeated attacks on Palestinian cities and towns. The persistent storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by extremists, the most recent of which occurred this week, must also stop. We stress here the need to preserve the legal and historical status quo in Jerusalem, provide full protection to Al-Aqsa Mosque and respect the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s custodianship of the holy sites and endowments of the city.
It is also critical to stop and reject extremism and all types of hate speech, which is becoming increasingly common and heighten tensions. As the Security Council affirmed in its resolution 2686, this type of rhetoric leads to the spread and exacerbation of conflicts.
In the context of today’s discussion, we express our concern about continued Israeli settlement activities, which is in violation of international law and United Nations relevant resolutions, including 2334. Settlement activities also undermine peace efforts. Further, we emphasize the necessity of deterring and stopping settler violence, which has reached unprecedented levels and threatens to fuel tensions even further.
Regarding the dire humanitarian conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, we note that 2 million people need humanitarian aid as registered by OCHA. The international community must continue its provision of vital aid to the Palestinian people. This includes funding UNRWA, which plays a vital role in supporting Palestine refugees and bringing stability to the region.
In conclusion, the UAE affirms its commitment to the two-state solution, whereby an independent Palestinian state will be established on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel in peace, security, and mutual recognition. We renew our support for all regional and international efforts to achieve this goal, and we call on all parties to work for peace and stability in the region.
Thank you, Mr. President.