UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan told the UN Security Council Tuesday that a just solution of Palestine-Israel dispute would not only usher in enduring peace in the Middle East but also deal a blow to the appeal of extremist organizations like Daesh and al-Qaeda.
Speaking in a debate on the Middle East situation, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi warned that unless justice is done to the Palestinian people, the basic narrative of extremist ideologies that Muslim people could secure justice only through resort to force would be difficult to defeat.
“Palestine, the holy land, is the heart of the Arab and Islamic world; What happens to Palestine and its people will resonate throughout the region,” the Pakistani envoy told the 15-member Council.
Ambassador Lodhi said that for 50 years, Israel had persisted in its occupation of the West Bank in defiance of the Charter’s central tenet that territories could not be acquired through the use of force and aggression.
Enduring peace in the Middle East was inconceivable without a just resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, she said. Establishment of a viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine, on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders, and with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, was the only sustainable guarantee for peace.
“It is clear that the movement of any State’s Embassy to Jerusalem will also manifestly violate Security Council resolutions,” Ambassador Lodhi said, obviously referring to recent statements by incoming Trump administration officials that relocation of American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was a “very big priority.”
She welcomed the recent Security Council Resolution affirming that the continuing expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank were likely to foreclose a two-state solution and called for its implementation.
The recent Paris Conference on the Middle East was a welcome step in the right direction, Ambassador Lodhi said. With over 70 States in attendance, it had reaffirmed the primacy of the two-State solution. “There must be consequences for those who continue to defy the force of international consensus,” she stressed.
About the suffering resulting from the lingering conflict in Syria, the Pakistani envoy said, “We have collectively missed many opportunities to end this tragic conflict over this period.” However, another opportunity beckoned. With the Russian Federation-Turkey brokered ceasefire, Syrians had started believing again.
As regards the conflict Yemen, Ambassador Lodhi said the situation has been further exacerbated by external armament and encouragement of certain groups.
She called for supporting efforts of the UN Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed aimed at restoring peace in the Arab country.