Statement by H.E Dr. Palitha T.B. Kohona
Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations
Security Council Open Debate
“The Situation in the Middle East
, Including the Palestine Question”
18 October 2010-New York

Mr. President,
My delegation is pleased to have this opportunity to address this Council, on this important issue, at a crucial time of the Middle East Peace process. I also wish to extend our sincere congratulations to Uganda, on the assumption of the Presidency of the Council and for the work done by the Uganda delegation. We express our appreciation to you for convening this debate.

 

I thank the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco for his informative briefing on the situation.  We associate ourselves with the Statement delivered by Egypt, on behalf of NAM. 

Mr. President,
The Resumption of direct talks by the two leaders of Israel and Palestine on the 2nd of September in Washington, with the facilitation of President Obama, indeed brought new hope to many, who sincerely await a comprehensive resolution to the question of Palestine in order to achieve sustainable peace in the Middle East. However, unfortunately the stalemate is continuing, despite the relentless efforts by many, including regional leaders, prolonging the plight of millions of innocent Palestinian civilians, who have waited far too long, for justice and their inalienable rights.   Peace in the Middle-East, would be a major contribution to world peace. 

Mr. President,
We strongly believe that the ending of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory and settlement activities remain central to finding a viable and just solution to the question of Palestine. Forty-three years of immeasurable hardship and disruption of normal civilian lives, is a disturbing situation in any circumstance. We earnestly hope that the Resolutions adopted by this august body, and the General Assembly would be respected and implemented without delay.

Mr. President,
Hatred and violence only beget hatred and violence. Therefore, the consistent call by the many concerned, to all parties to the conflict, to stop violence and exercise restraint needs, to be heeded. It is the only way forward to ensuring an environment conducive to a lasting peace in the region. It is the most pragmatic way to build confidence and ease the suffering of the Palestinian people.

Mr. President,
Once more, Sri Lanka renews its call to both Israel and Palestine to exploit all avenues, in their quest for a lasting solution, where both sides could live side-by-side as neighbours, within secure and recognized borders and bring Israel greater acceptance, both within the region and beyond.   

Mr. President,
We reiterate our support for the Government of President Abbas and commend the decision by the Arab league to keep the doors open for peace talks, despite the deadlock at present.  The Arab League has demonstrated moral leadership and political maturity by this decision.   We believe that Palestinian unity should be restored through peaceful means, for the sake of a strong and stable Palestine State. It is important that the national and democratic institutions of the Palestine Authority are protected and maintained, as they will form the bedrock of a future Palestine State, independent and self-sustaining.

Mr. President,
It is therefore the earnest desire and hope of the Government of Sri Lanka, that both Palestine and Israel, together with the major stakeholders of the Middle East Peace process, overcome the current impasse in their negotiations, without delay.    

I thank you,

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