RAMALLAH, Tuesday, January 26, 2021 (WAFA) – Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister Riyad Malki today reiterated the call for an international Middle East peace conference.
Speaking in a virtual meeting for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Malki renewed the call for holding an international conference on peace in the Middle East, which could mark a turning point in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and restarting the final status negotiations based on international law and relevant United Nations resolutions.
“The momentum for peace is something we create not something we wait for, and I know there is no lack of willingness around this table and beyond to see peace prevail,” said Malki, addressing the meeting.
“We thus reiterate our call for a collective approach mobilizing the international community and demonstrating its resolve to achieve peace. In this context, we call for the revival of the Quartet and its engagement with partners and the parties, as well as for the continued mobilization of this Security Council. We also reiterate our call for the convening of an international peace conference that can signal a turning point in this conflict, as Madrid did three decades ago, and to launch final status negotiations based on the international terms of reference and parameters. Our call for multilateral engagement is not an attempt to evade bilateral negotiations, but rather an effort to ensure their success.”
The top Palestinian diplomat stressed that salvaging the prospects for realizing the two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders before it is too late is a collective responsibility, and determined the current status quo, the lack of trust, the illegal unilateral actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, as the reasons which impede peacemaking, but added that these reasons should prompt the international community to intervene in a viable peace process.
“This is not a time for passive resignation but a time for resolute action. Without such action, neither reversing negative trends on the ground, first and foremost illegal settlement activities, nor resuming meaningful final status negotiations will be possible. The deterioration of the situation on the ground is directly linked to the attempts of one party to prejudge and dictate the outcome of negotiations, implementing annexation that would destroy any prospect for a sovereign and contiguous State of Palestine, while pretending to accept a two-State solution,” he said.
He emphasized that the Palestinian people would not accept anything less than what is stipulated in the United Nations Charter, and would never accept a future of siege, subjugation and foreign occupation.
“An entire nation is yearning for freedom and its calls must be answered. We do not ask for anything more than what the UN Charter prescribed for all peoples, nor will we accept anything less. We cannot accept a future of walls and blockades, humiliation and subjugation. We will spare no effort in advancing an independent, sovereign, viable, contiguous and democratic State of Palestine on the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. We will do by resorting to peaceful means alone, even in the most challenging of circumstances,” said the Foreign Minister, who also called for “immediate protection for our people, who are equally entitled to security, until such time where we can ensure their protection as a sovereign State.”
Malki said that President Mahmoud Abbas has issued a decree calling for Palestinian legislative and presidential elections, as well as for the Palestinian National Council. “This is an integral part of the efforts to resume our democratic life and to achieve national reconciliation and unity,” he said, asking for “international support and assistance to ensure the integrity of these elections, including by helping to avert and remove any Israeli obstacles to their conduct, notably in East Jerusalem, as well as respect for the outcome.”
The Foreign Minister concluded his statement by stressing, “In this period of electoral campaigns, there are those who, in trying to secure votes, remain committed to international law, the two-State solution and peaceful means, and those who instead announce settlements, advance annexation and persist in their provocations. May people not be duped by the ills of demagogy, supremacy and domination and rather choose the path of equal rights, mutual respect and shared dignity. With your help, may our future be one of freedom, security and prosperity for all. A future of peace, not Apartheid.”