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UAE: Annapolis Peace Conference positive step towards Mideast peace

posted on 02/12/2007: 710 views

New York - The UAE said it considers the Annapolis Peace Conference, hosted by the United States on the 27th November and attended by parties involved in the Middle East peace process, as positive step in the right direction towards bringing the peace process towards the right track, which requires further effective efforts to be exerted on regional and international levels.

The UAE also demanded these efforts be made either through the mechanism announced in the Annapolis Conference under the supervision of the United Sates, or within the UN system and the Security Council in particular under the mandate conferred upon it by the Charter and the Quartet Committee on the Middle East.

The UAE position toward the latest peace efforts was announced on Friday by UAE Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ahmed A. Al-Jarman before the 62nd Session of the General Assembly on ?Question of Palestine? "The Situation in the Middle East."

Al Jarman voiced the UAE's "hope that Israel has realized that its existence as a safe country, which maintains normal and economic relations with states in the region, requires changing its hostile stance against the Palestinian People and neighbouring countries, and fulfilling, on a non-selective basis, the demands of a true peace, which cannot be achieved without Israel's full and unconditional withdrawal from all Arab and Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, in order to establish an independent Palestinian State with Al Quds Al Sharif as its capital, living in peace and security with its neighbours in the region." The UAE, he said, has participated in good faith with other Arab countries in this conference with a view to taking practical and concrete steps to break the current impasse in the peace process in the Middle East. The main objective of the peace process has been and remains bringing Israel to full compliance to the international legality and ending its illegal and illegitimate occupation of all Arab and Palestinian territories by withdrawal to the June 1967 borders.

These efforts, he said, should be through a fair and neutral approach in order to ensure that the political momentum generated from the Annapolis Conference towards advancing the direct and comprehensive negotiations on all Arab-Israeli tracks is sustained.

"Efforts should also be made in accordance with the terms of international legality resolutions, the road map, and the Arab Peace Initiative in order to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian Question, which is the centre of the Arab-Israeli struggle in the Middle East." The UAE Government and the People of the United Arab Emirates reaffirm their continued support for, and solidarity with, the brotherly Palestinian People in their just struggle to realize their legitimate aspirations to self-determination, like other peoples of the world, remarked Al Jarman.

The UAE Representative said this year's deliberations have special importance due to the critical developments of the Palestinian Question which were reflected in the seriously deteriorating humanitarian, security and political conditions of the Palestinian people inside and outside the Occupied Territories on the one hand, and in the Annapolis Peace Conference on the other.

"We in the UAE have repeatedly expressed our total rejection of the Israeli expansion activities in the region and their illegal implications, which are reflected in its confiscation of Arab and Palestinian territories and their natural resources, which represents a grave breach of the provisions of international law and humanitarian international law that can no longer be ignored by the international community." " The UAE expresses its grave concern over the continued offensive Israeli practices revealed in the recent reports of the Secretary-General, which demonstrated, in figures, the effects of the unjustified and illegal expansion of the separation wall and of the settlements built inside the Palestinian territories and the Syrian Golan, and the implications of the collective punitive measures taken against the Palestinians.

The UAE Representative cited the Israeli incursions and aggressions have taken place in a number of Palestinian cities and villages, the deliberate killings, the excessive violence, the arbitrary arrest of thousands of civilians including women and children, the large-scale demolition of Palestinian homes and of social and economic structures, and the imposition of restrictions on the movement of persons and goods.

He said this "resulted in the total isolation of Gaza and its population from its surroundings and their deprivation from food aid and primary commodities essential for survival, including energy." Al Jarman voiced the UAE's demands that the following necessary steps be taken: 1) Israel, the occupying power, must on a priority basis undertake to cease its offensive policies against the Palestinians, release the prisoners who are detained in the thousands, and end its raids and siege against Gaza. Israel must also desist from obstructing access to emergency humanitarian assistance as a result of its illegal practices, which are in violation of international humanitarian law and the Fourth Geneva Convention pertaining to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. In this context, we also expect the international community to work within the framework of the Paris Donors' Conference, which is scheduled to be held on 17 December, on increasing its financial and development assistance to the Palestinian people in order to alleviate their current plight and enable the Palestinian Authority to rebuild and reform its national institutions.

2) Israel must take immediate measures to cease, under international control, all settlement activities in the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem and remove the existing settlements including the separation wall in the West Bank and in Al Quds surroundings and compensate people affected by this wall in accordance with its obligations under the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy and the advisory opinion rendered by the International Court of Justice in this regard. We also urge the international community to compel Israel to immediately halt all illegal actions taken in East Jerusalem affecting both Muslim and Christian shrines.

3) As part of its confidence-building measures, Israel must implement a full, immediate and unconditional withdrawal from all the Palestinian cities and villages reoccupied in 28 September, 2000, and demonstrate its compliance to the international legal resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002) and 1515 (2003) during the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority on the final status issues, in order to ensure, within a specific timeframe, the elimination of all settlements, the achievement of a just settlement for the Palestinian refugees in accordance with resolution 194, finding a resolution for the dispute over Jerusalem, and the final demarcation of borders between the Israeli and Palestinian States based on the Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative, which calls for Israel's total and unconditional withdrawal from all Arab and Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including Al Quds Al Sharif. This will reflect the serious intentions of Israel towards achieving a true peace in the region, and establishing an independent Palestinian State with Al Quds Al Sharif as its capital, living side by side in peace and security.

4) Demand for Israel to immediately enter, without conditions, into serious negotiations with the Syrian Government with a view to reaching a just and lasting peace agreement that ensures the return of the Golan Heights to Syria.

5) Demand for Israel to withdraw from the Lebanese Shabaa farms and Al Ajar village, and to stop its violations of the Lebanese airspace. Israel is also required to demonstrate its genuine and sincere intentions and cooperation in providing the required information on the mines and cluster explosives planted before its withdrawal from South Lebanon, in accordance with its obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions and in order to bring peace and stability to Lebanon. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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