Statement by H.E. Halit Çevik, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN, at the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

Halit Çevik 19.11.2012
Mr. Chair,

Having recently assumed my responsibilities as the Permanent Representative of Turkey, I take pleasure in participating for the first time, at the Committee’s work. Allow me to start by greeting the participant delegations in the meeting and congratulating the Board for its effective work. Also let me thank Mr. Wright, Director of UNRWA Office in New York for bringing into our attention the dire financial and security environment in which the Agency is operating.

Sadly, today’s meeting takes place at a time where innocent people in Gaza is going, once again, through a very difficult period. Turkey shares their grief for the losses of lives. While condemning the aggression and the disproportionate use of force by Israel, Turkey calls for an immediate and simultaneous cessation of hostilities. The United Nations, especially the Security Council, needs to take immediate action to bring an end to the operations and protect civilian lives.

We, on our side, shall also continue to show solidarity with our Palestinian Borthers and Sisters. H.E. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, has announced that he will join the Ministerial delegation of the Arab League to visit Gaza during this dire period.

Mr. Chair,

Despite this pessimist picture, we look forward to November 29, 2012 with a great deal of optimism for the future of the People of Palestine. Turkey has supported the application by President Mahmoud Abbas on 23 September 2011, for full-fledged United Nations membership of Palestine. We will also support the Resolution to elevate the status of Palestine at the United Nations to “Non-Member Observer State”. That State has to be viable, sovereign and contiguous on its territory. That includes the lifting of the illegal blockade imposed on Gaza, being implemented for over five years in defiance of the Security Council Resolution 1860.

Thus, Turkey will continue to give its support to the Palestinian people, for a peaceful settlement of the conflict, whereby Palestinians and Israelis live side by side in peace, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, established on the 1967 borders, in accordance with the numerous UN resolutions, Madrid principles, the Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative. Time is long due to put an end to this crisis. Palestinian people cannot be deprived of their inalienable rights and they rightfully deserve the wider international recognition of their statehood.

Thank you Mr. Chair