Intervention by the Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations at the Security Council Open Debate on Middle East Including Palestinian Question

Turkuno 24.01.2012
Mr. President,

We listened the briefing of Assistant Secretary General Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco with high interest.

The Middle East has always been a conflict prone area throughout the history. The region is undergoing a structural reformation. This is by no means a region-confined issue and will have repercussions on a wider scale. It is time that we, the nations of the world, assume our individual and collective roles, to effectively address the challenges ahead.

Last week the Security Council was briefed on the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. That briefing can be interpreted as another call to the international community to imminently address the Arab-Israeli conflict. The illegal blockade on Gaza is still in force. Our memories, regarding the deadly military operation of Israel to a civilian humanitarian aid campaign at high seas, are still fresh. We sadly note the increase in the settlement activities and the settler violence towards Palestinians. These remain as a major obstacle on the way to the resumption of direct negotiations between the parties. Furthermore, they seriously endanger the vision of a two-state solution. Thus we call on the Israeli Government to abide by the international law and fulfill its responsibilities to the international community. In any case, resort to violence by any party can no way be tolerated in overcoming exiting disputes.

The cornerstone for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, is the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Palestinian people must, as soon as possible, be able to fully exercise their inalienable rights; in accordance with the numerous UN resolutions, Madrid principles, the Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative. Independent Palestine should be recognized with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel in peace.

Last fall we welcomed the membership of Palestine to UNESCO. We also wholeheartedly support the Palestinian application for United Nations membership submitted by President Mahmoud Abbas on 23 September 2011. The international community should encourage this struggle for the long overdue and well-deserved right to statehood of the Palestinian people.

Mr. President,
We welcome the recent meetings between the Palestinian and Israeli representatives in Amman. We call both Parties to conduct these meetings in good-faith, targeting concrete advancement towards a just and comprehensive settlement.

In the mean time, the steps towards national reconciliation in Palestine are of vital importance. We praise the efforts of President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian representatives in this regard. We call all the members of the international community to support this process without prejudice. Palestinian people shall prove that, given the viable circumstances, they are capable to perform as a promising political and economic entity in this region. I therefore call on the international community to strengthen their support to the development, reconstruction and humanitarian projects in Palestine. UNRWA’s emergency appeal last week for funding its noble cause deserves our rightful attention.

Mr. President,
I wish to highlight once again that times ahead necessitate us to be even more vigilant. The Middle East is going through a transition, which will cause inevitable repercussions in a wider scale. We should well define the challenges and set the priorities correct. We cannot and should not let the prolonged disputes deviate the path of the people in search for a bright and secure future. And the Israeli-Palestinian question is very much central to this path.

Thank you.