United Nations: India has voiced its strong concern on the deteriorating situation in the Middle East and urged Israel to completely lift the blockade on Palestine and implement the provisions of ceasefire agreement reached in November 2012.
Addressing the Security Council Open Debate yesterday on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Kumar Mukerji said that Israel has recently taken some measures to allow flow of essential goods into Gaza.
Israeli guards chase Palestinian protesters. AFP.
“Still the continuing blockade remains in force, and is adversely affecting essential services, economic activities and infrastructure development,” he said.
He told the world body that if the present situation persists, the international community will risk a serious destabilisation in the region. ”Efforts should be aimed at breaking the deadlock and resumption of peace process is reinvigorated,” he said.
In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, intensification of settlement activities is fast eroding the very foundation of a two-state solution. ”The plight of ordinary Palestinians is worsening everyday due to roadblocks and related infrastructure of occupation that put restrictions on the free movement of persons and goods, he added.
He said any political process in order to be meaningful must put an end to Israeli settlement activities. ”Continuing settlement activities are a violation of
international law and harmful to the peace process. We join others in urging Israel to stop settlement activities in order for the Palestinian side to come to the negotiating table,” he said.
The blockade of Gaza has also continued causing a great deal of hardships to Palestinians. The plight of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails requires immediate attention.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority is facing one of the worst financial crises that threaten to erode the progress made in building Palestinian state institutions. He said the Middle East Peace Process is passing through its most difficult phase in recent times.
For more than two years, the parties have not held any official meeting. Efforts of the international community, including that of the Quartet, have failed to make any impact on the ground.
India’s support for the Palestinian cause has been strong and unwavering. India was the first non-Arab country to recognise the State of Palestine in 1988. India co-sponsored the General Assembly resolution in November 2012 that upgraded the status of Palestine to a non-member Observer state.
India has consistently supported a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, resulting in a sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine living within secure and recognised borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, side by side and at peace with Israel as endorsed in various United Nations Security Council Resolutions and the Quartet Road Map.
On the deteriorating situation in Syria, he said India believed that the Joint Communique of the Action Group, adopted in June 2012, provides a good basis for resolution of the Syrian crisis.
“A Syrian-led political process that meets the legitimate aspirations of all sections of Syrian society can alone resolve the crisis, and must be seriously pursued by all parties concerned,” he stressed.