Statement by H.E. Ambassador Baki İlkin, Permamenet Representative of Turkey to the UN at the Public Meeting of the Security Council on "The Situation in the Middle East, Including the Palestinian Question"

Baki İlkin 17.04.2006
Mr. President,

While Turkey has aligned itself with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of Austria on behalf of the European Union, I still wish to touch upon the subsequent points which we deem fundamental given the current conjuncture in the region.

Mr. President,

It is, indeed, unfortunate that the window of opportunity which appeared at the time of Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank could not be capitalized towards a genuine political dialogue, and thus to the permanent solution of the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

We are, once again, distressed to hear today that a number of innocent people lost their lives and were seriously injured by a suicide bomb attack in Tel Aviv. We condemn this horrendous act. We are equally saddened to see innocent civilians getting killed or maimed by punitive military operations. Resorting to violence leading to such horrendous acts or to military force are both no remedy to political issues and problems. Resorting to violence and force only breed further violence and force.

Mr. President,

The lack of confidence between the two sides and the surging acts of violence on one hand and use of force on the other hand are inevitably leading to a vicious-circle, which needs to be arrested and reversed. We are indeed quite concerned about the future of this region.

While the outcome of democratic elections can and should not be contested, it is equally important for the governments assuming power through such elections to adopt and adhere to the well-defined and established principles of democratic regimes. At this decisive moment in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Turkey strongly encourages both sides to pursue pragmatic policies. It is our ardent view that the Palestinian and the Israeli leaders have responsibilities and obligations for the well-being of their respective peoples, as well as for regional peace, security and stability. We urge, both the Palestinian Authority and Israel, to take tangible steps with a view to re-establishing the platform of dialogue for the resumption of the peace negotiations based on the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Quartet Road Map and the vision of two States, as well as the principle of "land for peace." In this context, we also need to emphasize that both parties must refrain from unilateral actions that might prejudge a final settlement.

Mr. President,

The long-awaited peace, security, socio-economic development and overall progress in the Middle East could not be attained unless the Palestinian question is resolved through a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement. Turkey attaches great importance and is ready to contribute to the efforts by the international community to encourage both sides to adopt more constructive policies. With this objective, Turkey stands ready to work with the international community towards enabling a meaningful progress in the Middle East Peace Process.

Thank you, Mr. President.