Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at UNSC briefing on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
Your Excellency Foreign Secretary Shringla, we welcome your personal participation in this meeting of the Security Council.
We thank Mr.Tor Wennesland for the informative briefing.
It is with great concern that we watch tension grow in the Palestinian territories, in particular in Gaza and East Jerusalem. Clashes in border areas of Gaza still risk evolving into full-fledged hostilities. The threat of forceful eviction of several Arab families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem remains pertinent. On 2 August, the Supreme Court of Israel postponed hearings of this case for an indefinite period, which may trigger another phase of escalation.
Russia’s position remains unchanged – Israel’s illegal settlement activity, as well as expropriation of land and property in the occupied territories constitutes a violation of the international law. Such actions hinder the international efforts that seek prompt resumption of direct Palestinian-Israeli talks that should foster a comprehensive resolution of final status issues.
Steady stabilization is impossible unless the “political horizon” recovers and peaceful process revitalizes on an international legal basis with a two-state solution at its core.
We welcome Egypt’s mediator effort aimed at leading Palestinian-Israeli settlement out of a deadlock.
Lasting stagnation of the peace process, provocative unilateral steps and attempts to score domestic policy points through forceful acts but aggravate the situation in the conflict zone, which is already highly explosive. In this connection, we believe it important to preserve and strengthen the international consensus on Palestinian-Israeli settlement in accordance with the UNSC and UNGA decisions and the two-state principle.
The recent serious escalation in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict area in May this year gave as another reminder of the risks and threats to regional and international security that the lack of settlement of this conflict is fraught with. Therefore we call on the interested sides to give a start to creating a stable conflict-free Middle East in the spirit of our recently renewed concept for collective security in the Persian Gulf with a focus on its region-wide extent. Thereby it is implied that such system would be a preliminary to building a general post-crisis architecture of the Middle Eastern region.
We advocate for relaunching direct Palestinian-Israeli talks that should meet the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians towards an independent state with a capital in East Jerusalem and respond to Israelis’ explicable concerns with regard to national security. We assign a special role in solving this task to the Middle East Quartet of mediators that remains the only internationally recognized mechanism to address Palestinian-Israeli settlement.
In this regard, we will continue our efforts aimed at galvanizing the activity of the Quartet. We call upon our colleagues in this format to respond to our proposal to convene a ministerial meeting in New York on the sidelines of the UNGA high-level week in September, and to organize consultations in an extended format with participation of regional states. At the same time, we count on international community’s support for these initiatives.