Delivered by: His Excellency Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative
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I would first like to thank Mr. Geir Pedersen and Ms. Edem Wosornu for their valuable briefings.
Our meeting today is taking place as our region goes through one of the most difficult crises in its modern history. We are witnessing another devastating war in Gaza in which civilians are suffering terribly. With every day that passes without an end to this war, concerns are mounting about the possibility of the entire region sliding into a regional war, the damage of which would be tremendous for everyone.
Growing tensions in the occupied Syrian Golan and other neighboring areas during the past weeks confirm the urgent need to address the various crises in our region, including the Syrian crisis.
Syria, still suffering from the repercussions of a more than 13-year war, cannot afford to become another front for settling geopolitical goals. The Syrian crisis is one of the most complex files due to foreign interference. Any new escalation would impede our ultimate goal of achieving peace and security in Syria and the entire region.
The UAE supports the efforts of the Special Envoy and the Arab Contact Group to convene meetings of the Constitutional Committee at the end of this year. This would strengthen dialogue between the Syrian parties to end the crisis under a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned process, without foreign interference. We stress that a political solution is the only way to resolve this crisis.
Considering the recent increase in tensions and hostilities in Syria, the UAE stresses the importance of de-escalation, ensuring a ceasefire in all Syrian regions, and refraining from targeting vital facilities, especially Aleppo airport and Damascus airport, to avoid hindering the delivery of humanitarian aid.
The UAE also stresses the importance of combating terrorist threats in Syria, especially as Da’esh continues to launch attacks to destabilize security and stability in Syria.
The UAE reiterates its strong condemnation of the terrorist attack that targeted the Military Academy in Homs. The UAE denounces these criminal acts and firmly rejects all forms of violence and terrorism. We also express our sincere condolences and sympathies to the government of the Syrian Arab Republic, its people, and the families of the victims who were killed in this heinous crime and wish for a speedy recovery for all those injured. It is unfortunate that there was no clear condemnation of this terrorist attack by the Security Council.
Each year, the economic situation has continued to deteriorate due to multiple factors. This includes the rise in prices of fuel, commodities, and food, as well as the decline of the Syrian pound to unprecedented levels. This situation demands that the international community explore ways to boost the economy in Syria, which in turn would improve the humanitarian and living conditions of the Syrian people.
We also stress the importance of restoring water and electricity networks, which are essential for providing humanitarian services.
In this regard, we express our appreciation for the continued efforts of OCHA and the Syrian government to seamlessly bring humanitarian aid through the three crossings at the Syrian-Turkish border.
As we approach the deadline of the extension next month, we hope that the opening of the Bab al-Salama and Bab al-Rai crossings will be further extended. This is necessary to ensure that the needs of the Syrian people are met, especially with the approaching winter and the scarcity of basic resources and livelihoods.
We reiterate the need to use all modalities to deliver aid, including by ensuring crossline delivery of convoys. We urge an increase in the number of these convoys in line with the humanitarian needs on the ground.
In conclusion, Mr. President, the present turning point in our region requires an intensification of efforts to prevent the escalation of tensions. This includes preventing Syria from sliding into a regional war and working simultaneously to make progress towards finding peaceful solutions to all crises in the region.
Thank you, Mr. President.