Statement by Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, at the VTC of Security Council Member-States on the situation in the Middle East including Palestinian question
We thank Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov for his briefing. We are grateful to Nickolay for all his efforts and support him and his initiatives and ideas.
As never before international cooperation and action is needed to move forward the Middle East Peace Process. Plans for annexation of Palestinian territories threaten to undermine this process. President M.Abbas announced yesterday that Palestinian authority is free from its commitments under Oslo Peace Process. As a result, the door for any prospects of the two-state solution may be closed. It proves that no time should be wasted. We see no alternative to two states – Israel and Palestine – living peacefully side by side. In this regard, we reiterate our call to avoid any unilateral steps that might undermine the prospects for the solution.
Russia as a member of the Middle East Quartet of International Mediators is ready to fully engage in efforts to safeguard principles of the settlement which are enshrined in relevant UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, the Madrid Principles and the Arab Peace Initiative. They provide basis for creation of an independent, sovereign, territorially contiguous Palestinian state within 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
We say no to violence, at the same time we say no to annexation of Palestinian territories, but also of Syrian Golan Heights and Lebanese territories. We say no to continuation of settlement activities, demolition and confiscation of Palestinian property and violent clashes.
Events show the urgent need to engage in efforts to salvage the peace process. We are ready to support and facilitate them as a member of the Quartet. We are also ready to engage with key regional countries in order to consolidate collective efforts and to hold Quartet meetings with their participation. We will continue dialogue with countries in the Middle East, and with League of Arab States.
Palestinian unity is more than ever needed. We will continue our efforts in this regard and highly appreciate the role of our Egyptian friends.
We urge Palestinians and Israelis to continue coordination on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. We share concerns about possible consequences of the spread of the disease in the Gaza Strip. But even without the pandemic humanitarian situation in Gaza is dire. We note deliveries of medical equipment by the WHO and UNRWA. However, given the humanitarian situation in Gaza, these efforts should be enhanced. The work of UNRWA and its support by the international community becomes even more important than ever. We see no alternative to the Agency as an important element of maintaining stability and assistance to Palestinian refugees in the region.