Statement by Chargé d'Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Russia to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy at the open VTC of UNSC members on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
We thank Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov for the briefing. We appreciate the diligent work that he has been doing in this office for almost 6 years. This time was quite tough for the process of Middle Eastern settlement. We had to intensify efforts, yet not in order promote the process, but rather to preserve the central and consolidating role of the United Nations and the international legal basis for peaceful solution of the Palestinian question. We wish to Mr. Mladenov every success at the new track, where we will fully support him. We are also ready to render comprehensive support to the new Special Coordinator for the Middle East.
We will proceed from our consecutive principal position in favor of an equitable solution of the Palestinian question on the basis of the international legal framework endorsed by the United Nations, including its resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative, and the fundamental “two-state” solution. This basis provides for creating an independent, sovereign, territorially contiguous Palestinian state within 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, which would peacefully co-exist with Israel. Annual UNGA votes on relevant resolutions clearly demonstrate the persisting international consensus saying that there is no alternative to the recognized basis for settlement.
The entire range of final status issues should be resolved during direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. President M.Abbas reiterated readiness to have dialogue under the auspices of the Quartet of International Mediators. We call on our partners in the Quartet – the UN, the EU and the US – to intensify cooperation for these purposes. We are ready to have key regional players involved in this work, which asks us to join our efforts and use the entire potential of collective diplomacy.
We are extremely concerned by the incoming information about the progress of implementation of UNSC resolution 2334. As we take it from the Secretary-General’s report, in October and November the Israeli authorities endorsed large-scale plans for construction of new housing units, i.a. in Area C and in the inland of occupied Palestinian territory. Construction in the area of East Jerusalem threatens to further undermine the territorial integrity of the Palestinian state, envisaged by UN resolutions.
We reconfirm our principled position that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal. We call to give up settlement activity and the policy of demolishing Palestinian property. We are also concerned by the statistical data provided by the UN, that in 2020 the number of demolished buildings increased by 72 % as compared with the previous year.
At the same time, violence and missile launches against the Israeli territory must stop. Sides should join their efforts to counter the terrorist threat.
The task of restoring Palestinian unity remains very relevant. We will set forth our efforts at this track by rendering assistance to our Egyptian friends.
The international community needs to take active steps to improve the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, i.a. against the backdrop of coronavirus pandemic. We are very worried about the reported financial trouble that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees encounters at the moment. The activity of UNRWA has both a humanitarian and a political dimension; it produces a stabilizing effect on the Palestinian territories and on the Middle Eastern states. The leadership of UNRWA takes efforts to enhance performance and mitigate expenditures that are yet to be estimated. For its part, Russia continues to support UNRWA and calls on the global community to follow suit.