ISLAMABAD: Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi has told the UN Security Council that Pakistan has a vital stake in the solution of the multiple conflicts that afflict the Middle East today, says a press release received here on Thursday from New York.
Speaking in the debate on the situation in the Middle East, she assured the Council that Pakistan would work with sincerity to help in any effort to resolve these crises and re-establish peace and security in this central part of the Islamic world.
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN argued that unless a just and durable solution is found to the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Holy Land it will be difficult to resolve conflicts and crises afflicting the Middle East and to reverse the rise of terrorism and extremism.
Ambassador Lodhi termed the grim situation in Syria as “the sum of all tragedies”, stemming from foreign interference, state repression, terrorism and ethnic and religious divisions”.
She said that the challenge the world confronts in Syria was multifaceted: to defeat Daesh and other terrorist organizations; to restore the rights of all of Syria’s people, minorities and majorities, while preserving the country’s territorial integrity; and to ensure that the sources of terrorism and violence in Syria do not spread to its neighbours and beyond.
Rejecting the recently announced Israeli plan to construct 300 new settlement units in the West Bank, the Pakistani envoy said that with every new settlement plan, the Israeli Government is systemically sabotaging the possibility of the two-state solution – “the only viable option for durable peace”.
She said Pakistan appreciated last week’s Security Council meeting on the issue of the Israeli settlement and urged the Council to “follow up the talk with action”.
Ambassador Lodhi regretted the inability of the Security Council and the major powers to halt the expansion of Israeli settlements and enforce the two-state solution and said that this has encouraged the Israeli leadership to entrench its obduracy and intransigence.
She urged the 15-member Council to categorically reject and condemn Israeli moves to create a fait accompli to defeat the two-state solution. “Indeed, the occupying power should recognize that its political identity would not survive in a one-state alternative; it will reinforce its character as an apartheid state”, she added.
Reiterating Pakistan’s commitment to supporting the Palestinian people in their legitimate struggle for their right to self-determination and statehood, Dr. Lodhi said, “We firmly believe that the creation of an independent, contiguous and viable State of Palestine, based on pre-1967 borders, with Al-Quds al Sharif as its capital, is an essential prerequisite to sustainable peace in the Middle East”.
Speaking on the situation in Iraq, Ambassador Lodhi welcomed military reversals on Daesh and expressed the hope that ISIS will soon be ejected from Mosul. “The world welcomes the progressive diminution of Daesh. “Its various terrorist manifestations within and outside the region will have to be also contained more vigorously”, she added.
On the conflict in Yemen, the Pakistani envoy said that this has created devastating chaos and human suffering that has been exacerbated by external factors and stressed that, “The realization of peace in Yemen must be based on the restoration of international legitimacy and the reconciliation of the political, religious and tribal differences within the country”.