26 April 2018

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Statement of Salahuddin Rabbani Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Extraordinary OIC Summit

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Friday December 15, 2017
Kabul (BNA)
بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
You are Excellency President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,
Honorable Secretary General,
Honorable Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I wish to express our gratitude to His Excellency, Recep Tayyip Erdogan President of the Republic of Turkey for calling this extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
This meeting takes place on an issue of great concern not only to the Islamic World, but rather to the international community as a whole.
The unsettled question of Palestine is widely recognized to be one of the pressing issues facing the international community.  For several decades now, the global community has been in search of a viable and broad-based solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict - one that could provide the foundation for durable peace and security on the basis of the Two-State Solution.
For numerous years now, various international efforts, including those conducted by the UN, the OIC, Quartet and League of Arab States, failed to bring about any change to the status quo, including the resumption of direct talks between the two sides, which is critically important for any progress whatsoever. Against this already difficult backdrop, the situation has now become even more complicated with last week’s unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
As affirmed by the leadership of the Government of National Unity of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan last week, we believe this decision contradicts various UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, and runs the risk of severely undermining the prospect of a just, comprehensive and lasting solution to the question of Palestine, on the basis of the Two-State formula - which is deemed by the broader international community to be the only viable way forward.
As a country that maintains a bilateral strategic partnership with the United States of America to defeat international terrorism and secure lasting peace, security and stability in our country and region, we had conveyed our clear concern and position over its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
At this critical juncture, the onus is on us all - the OIC, the United Nations; European Union; League of Arab States, as well as other relevant international stakeholders - to work in tandem, with greater resolve, and in a new spirit of collaboration to change the status quo and to bring about a just and favorable environment within which key outstanding issues in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict can be resolved.
We must do so not only as our moral, religious and legal responsibly to help end the suffering of our Palestinian brothers and sisters, but also knowing that a just and comprehensive solution to the question of Palestine will have a profound impact in promoting peace, security and stability in the wider region.
Beyond the political aspect of the troubles facing the Palestinian people, the international community’s renewed approach in support of their plight must also give due focus and attention on improving their socio-economic and humanitarian conditions.
Equally important, it is imperative that the Government of Israel brings about an immediate halt to the expansion of settlements and its systematic violation of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian People, including the imposition of restrictions on access to basic necessities, including food, water, medicine and electricity.
Needless to say, such measures violate international law, constitute a grave violation of human rights and undermine peace and stability. In the broader context, all efforts must be made to restore an atmosphere conducive to direct and results-oriented negotiations between the concerned sides.
Mr. Chairman,
Jerusalem has for decades held enormous significance, as it was the first Qiblah for Muslims, while also maintaining an integral part of the identify of various cultures and religions.
As echoed consistently by the international community over the past several days, any decision taken on the status of Jerusalem, outside the parameters of a comprehensive agreement between Palestine and Israel is counter-productive to the prospect of a two-State Solution.
We hope the new US Administration will reconsider its recent decision, for the benefit of a comprehensive and sustainable agreement, which will lead to Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace and co-existence.
On this occasion, let me reaffirm the deep solidarity and support of the people and Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan with our Palestinian brothers and sisters.
Today, as ever before, we stand fully committed in their just and long-standing quest for the realization of their inalienable rights: the chance to live in peace, security, dignity – and above all the right to full independence and full-Statehood.
Thank You.
Ansari

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