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General Debate on The situation in the Middle East [item 37] and Question of Palestine [item 38]

Intervention by the Permanent Representative of the Argentine Republic, Amb. Martín García Moritán

November 29

Mr. President,

Argentina would like to make the following statement related to the situation in the Middle East and the question of Palestine, items 37 and 38 of the Agenda of the General Assembly, which my country follows with concern.

When 70 years have passed since the establishment of the State of Israel and the adoption of the resolution 181 (II) of the General Assembly which established a Plan for the partition of Palestine, as well as after 50 years of the beginning of the Israeli occupation, we would like to reaffirm once again our strongest support to a peaceful, definitive and comprehensive solution to the question of Palestine, based on the two-state solution on the basis of the borders of 1967 and what the parties determine in the negotiation process. 

Argentina actively supports all the efforts aimed at achieving Peace and stability in the Middle East. We encourage the regional actors and the countries which are friends of Israel and Palestine to work in a constructive manner to assist the parties moving forward to the solution of their differences with a view to resume the negotiations. The seriousness of the situation in the field demands a collective effort in order to work for a two-State solution, as it has been established by the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council, the Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Mr. President,

Argentina reasserts its support to the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to become an independent and viable State recognized by all nations; as well a as the right of the State of Israel to live in peace with its neighbors within secure and internationally recognized borders.

Moreover, Argentina reiterates its concern for the persistent and continuous growth of the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestine territories and calls on to cease its expansion. As it has been indicated by the General Assembly, the settlements are contrary to international law and an obstacle for peace; the settlements weaken the possibilities of a two-state solution, living in peace and security, and promote the perpetuation of an unsustainable status quo. The gravity of this situation has been recently recognized by the Security Council in its resolution 2334 (2016).

At the same time, the attacks against Israeli citizens are unacceptable and must stop immediately. My country condemns in the strongest terms all terrorist actions and it is convinced that in the same manner that there is no military solution to the conflict, neither there is a terrorist solution. It is necessary that Palestinian leaders sincerely address the security concerns of Israel.

In that regard, Argentina has received with expectations the agreement signed at Cairo on 12 October 2017, which may be a very important step to achieve genuine progress in the reconciliation among Palestinians. It is our hope that the agreement could be a step toward the recognition of Israel, the renouncing to violence and the respect for the existing agreements by all the Palestinian factions.  We acknowledge the positive role of Egypt and call upon all the actors involved in the situation in Gaza to refrain from taking measures which undermine the perspectives of a government of Palestinian unity.

We note with concern the persistence of the excessive use of force by Israeli forces in the context of attacks and alleged attacks conducted by Palestinians and in combats, as well as the acts of violence of the settlers.

Regarding the situation of East Jerusalem, Argentina reaffirms the special status of Jerusalem, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations and, in that regard, it rejects any unilateral attempt of introducing modifications, in particular regarding the Old City, the one which has special meaning for the three monotheistic religions. My country understands that the holy City should be a place of encounter and peace, and that access to holy sites must be guaranteed for Jewish, Muslims and Christians. Any attempt aimed at denying or relativizing the historical link with and the profound meaning of those places for the three religions is completely unacceptable and doesn't contribute to the objective of finding a peaceful solution to the conflict, by reinforcing prejudices and mistrust between the parties.

Mr. President,

In relation to the Syrian Golan, Argentina upholds a principle position regarding the illegality of the acquisition of territories by force, and respect for the territorial integrity of States. We firmly believe in the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes and, therefore, we consider important the search of a negotiated solution to the conflict between Syria and Israel with a view to ending the occupation of the Golan Heights as soon as possible, in accordance with resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) of the Security Council and the principle of land for peace.

To conclude, Argentina would like to call upon Palestinians and Israelis to reassume peace talks, acting with good will, with flexibility and in accordance with the International law, with a view to reaching an agreement on the pending questions regarding the final status of Palestine in all its aspects.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Fondo argentino de cooperación sur-sur y triangular