NEW YORK – Pakistan told the UN that unless justice is assured to the Palestinians it would be difficult to defeat extremist ideologies as this feeds their narrative.
Speaking in the open debate on the Middle East, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi said, “Let us not forget that the basic narrative of the region’s extremists is that Muslim peoples can secure justice only through resort to force and violence. It will be difficult to defeat this narrative and extremist ideologies unless we ensure justice to the Palestinian people.”
She expressed Pakistan’s conviction that enduring peace in the Middle East was inconceivable without a just resolution of the Palestine-Israel dispute.
Ambassador Lodhi said that Palestine, the holy land, is the heart of the Arab and Islamic world and that what happens to Palestine and its people resonates throughout the region.
“Establishment of a viable, independent and the contiguous State of Palestine, on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders, and with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, is the only sustainable guarantee for peace, self-evident, ” she said.
Ambassador Lodhi welcomed the International Conference on the Middle East Peace Process held in Paris over the weekend and called it a step in the right direction. “With over seventy States in attendance, the Conference reaffirmed the the two-state solution,” adding that “there must be consequences for those who continue to defy the force of international consensus.”
Welcoming the recent Security Council Resolution 2334 Ambassador Lodhi said that the self-evident conclusion that the continuing expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank is likely to foreclose a two-state solution and eliminate prospects of a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Resolution, she said, was not surprisingly opposed by the occupying power. But others, she said, who have sought to apply pressure and coercion on Members of the Security Council, and on the United Nations, display their own narrow and deeply flawed vision. Pakistan urged that Resolution 2334 must be expeditiously and fully implemented by the parties concerned.
She told the 15-member Council that the movement of any State’s Embassy to Jerusalem will also manifestly violate Security Council resolutions.
Ambassador Lodhi said Pakistan welcomed the Russian-Turkey brokered a ceasefire in Syria, which is still holding and looks hopefully to upcoming peace talks in Astana.
These tentative beginnings, Ambassador Lodhi urged, must be nurtured and regional and international players must stay firm in their resolve to bring peace back to Syria. This, she said, can be achieved if the legitimate interests of all involved States and parties are equitably accommodated and a viable coalition formed to defeat Daesh and other terrorist groups.
On Iraq, Pakistan called for building durable structures of peace through the recognition and reconciliation of the interests of all of Iraq’s people.
Speaking on the situation in Yemen, Ambassador Lodhi said that despite the untiring shuttle diplomacy of UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Yemen continues to burn.
She said that the endeavours of the Special Envoy must be fully supported by all parties to restore peace with dignity for the citizens of Yemen.