NEW YORK – At the UN Security Council quarterly Open Debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, the UAE called on the international community to uphold its responsibilities to ending the suffering of the Palestinian people and establishing an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital – in accordance with relevant international parameters and the Arab Peace Initiative.

In a statement delivered by Mr. Majid Al Mutawa, Third Secretary at the Permanent Mission of the UAE to the UN, he underlined that Israel needed to cease its illegal practices of expanding settlements and demolishing Palestinian property–the latest of which was the demolition of 70 houses in East Jerusalem on July 22, 2019. Furthermore, he reminded the international community of the importance of addressing the worsening humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and intensifying humanitarian assistance, while working to reach a just and comprehensive solution.

On the situation in Yemen, Mr. Al Mutawa condemned the attacks by Houthis on Saudi Arabia and its continuing threat to the navigation in the Red Sea. In this regard, he stated that the Council needed to take decisive measures to put an end to the violations and to prevent the flow of Iranian weapons to Yemen which are a flagrant violation of Council resolutions. He underscored that the attacks on Saudi Arabia undermines the progress made in the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement and the ceasefire in Hodeida, particularly at a time when the UAE and the Coalition to Support the Legitimacy in Yemen are providing an opportunity for peace by redeploying their forces and giving priority to the political effort to reach a comprehensive solution. He also condemned Houthi actions which have exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, by looting aid and preventing access to the civilians. He reaffirmed the UAE’s continued efforts within the Coalition to Support the Legitimacy in Yemen and support for the Special Envoy for Yemen in reaching a political solution to the situation.

Mr. Al Mutawa emphasized the importance of ensuring freedom of navigation and energy supply lines and safeguarding sea lanes in both the Straits of Hormuz and Bab al-Mandab and called on all parties to prioritize diplomatic efforts to restore stability. He stressed that the international community, has a collective responsibility to avoid conflict and further tensions in the region, as well as preventing any parties from undermining the security and safety of maritime navigation and global energy supplies. He stressed that sabotaging and threatening of commercial ships and the lives of their crew was a serious development that threatened not only maritime trade, but also the broader regional stability.

Underscoring that a political solution was the only way to ending the crises in Syria and Libya, Mr. Al Mutawa called on the concerned parties to sit at the negotiating table and find a solution to the protracted crises in line with relevant Security Council resolutions. Additionally, he noted with concern the exploitation of the security vacuum in Libya by terrorist groups and the growing migrants’ tragedy in the Mediterranean Sea and called for concerted international efforts to get out of the crisis and restore stability in Libya.

“The gravity of the situation in the Middle East requires the international community and the Security Council to pay serious and credible attention.  The Council must bear its responsibilities to put an end to all destabilizing actions–including acts of violence by extremist and terrorist groups with the support and funding from certain States–and hold accountable those parties responsible for the outbreak and continuation of conflicts in the region,” he concluded.