Statement by H.E. Mr. Ali Babacan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Upon the Adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 1860 Regarding the Situation in the Gaza Strip

Ali Babacan 08.01.2009
Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary-General,

After three days of intense negotiations, we have finally managed to reach an agreement on a Security Council resolution addressing the tragic situation in Gaza.

Maybe, we are not fully satisfied with each and every element of the resolution that has just been adopted. But, it nonetheless constitutes a compromise text representing the common will of all the Security Council members.

This is indeed very important as it enabled us to act together in response to the grave situation in Gaza. Therefore, I thank everyone who made this outcome possible.

Mr. President, the crucial task for the Security Council at this critical stage was to make an unequivocal appeal to stop the bloodshed and to halt all military activities. The resolution we have just adopted delivers this objective with its clear call for an "immediate ceasefire" and a "full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza".

Furthermore, the explicit calls for unimpeded access to humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza, as well as its emphasis on the sustained and regular flow of goods and people to Gaza, are equally important and strong messages of this resolution. This is in fact a call for the lifting of the blockade in all its aspects.

Now, of course, we have to focus on the immediate implementation of the terms of this resolution without any delay. Indeed, full and effective implementation of this resolution is a must in order to put an end to this tragedy and to the suffering of the people of Gaza.

Moreover, immediately following the ceasefire, it is also vital to concentrate on the national reconciliation of Palestinians.

On its part, Turkey will exert every effort for the implementation of all aspects of this resolution. In this context, we will continue to work with our friends and partners in the region and beyond to secure a lasting calm and stability in the region.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate, once again, the urgent need to have a viable and comprehensive peace on all tracks of the Middle East Peace Process. Turkey will lend its full support to all endeavors in this direction.

Thank you.