Statement by Chargé d'Affaires of the Russian Federation Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC briefing on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
We thank Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Lynn Hastings for her briefing. We also closely followed remarks by Ms. Yudith Oppenheimer.
In our view, consolidation of the ceasefire arrangements and urgent humanitarian assistance to the affected and those in need in Gaza Strip are the main tasks for the upcoming period. In this context, it is vital that both sides act in a reserved manner, reject unilateral steps and provocative moves. In the first place, it regards forced eviction of Palestinians, expropriation of houses and land lots, construction of settlements, arbitrary detentions, and any manifestations of violence. Special status and inviolability of Jerusalem’s Holy Sites must be upheld.
Also, it is most essential to boost efforts that should help the Palestinian authorities overcome socio-economic difficulties. COVID-19 pandemic continues to influence this area, and the Palestinians are not able to cope with it while acting singlehandedly. Therefore we stand for rendering comprehensive humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in the occupied territories and in the neighboring states, that should be provided via UN specialized agencies (UNRWA in the first place) without any politicization and pre-conditions. Palestinian-Israeli interaction plays an important role to that end.
The aforementioned challenges are pressing and urgent tasks. Once solved, they will definitely promote stabilization. But we have to realize that such sort of stabilization will not and is not supposed to mean that the global community may stop at that. On the contrary, what happened last May showed us that neither Palestine nor the entire region might reach peace and quiet unless there is movement towards a just solution to the Palestinian question.
There is the task to resume the political process, including relaunch of direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations that should discuss all final status aspects within the universally recognized international legal basis. We believe this task must neither be overlooked nor postponed “until better days”.
We believe it is important to seek to consolidate international efforts for the benefit of resolving the Palestinian problem in line with the two-state principle. Thereby we assign a special role to the Middle Eastern “Quartet”, which remains the only internationally recognized mechanism to accompany Palestinian-Israeli settlement. We appreciate Egypt’s efforts to overcome the internal Palestinian divide that constitute a necessary element for reanimation of the peace process.
Amidst those circumstances, we will set forth efforts to boost the activity of the Quartet. We call upon our colleagues by this format to consider our proposed initiatives, i.a. with regard to holding a ministerial meeting and convening consultations in an extended format with participation of regional states. We also count on the international community to support these efforts.