Statement by H. E. Mr. Ferit Hoxha: “Situation in the Middle East and the Palestinian Question”

E. Mr. Ferit Hoxha, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Albania to the UN at the meeting of the Security Council – Open Debate

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New York, 26 July 2022

Thank you, Mr President,

I thank the Deputy Special Coordinator, Hastings, for her briefing.

We remain worried about the situation on the ground. Tension continues to be high, and violence continues to harm civilians.

We reiterate our firm condemnation of any terror attacks in Israel. Nothing can and will ever justify terrorist acts. Rocket fire, launching of incendiary devices and other attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups are unacceptable.

Albania has and will continue to calls on all parties to avoid actions and provocations that undermine the prospect of peaceful coexistence between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Evictions and settlers’ violence only exacerbate tensions and should be properly investigated.

We reiterate our support for the 2 states solution, with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic and viable State of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security and mutual recognition, and with Jerusalem serving as the future capital of both states.

Israelis and Palestinians have the right to life at peace with one another, with full and equal enjoyment of human rights and freedoms. Despite difficulties, challenges and setbacks, we should not let this goal fade away. Hopes of millions are invested there.

We value every effort that seeks to bring the parties closer together to open a political horizon for the resumption of talks within the UN framework to find a lasting solution to the conflict.

In this context, we welcome the recent visit of President Biden to the region. An improved atmosphere and better relations between countries of the region promote stability to the benefit of all. It is important that the Palestinians are also involved and benefit from this process.

On this occasion, the announcement by Saudi Arabia to allow overflight rights to all carriers, including Israeli airlines, is welcome and will further contribute to efforts for building a robust regional architecture by deepening the ties between countries of the region.

We believe in cooperation, which is always a better choice, a more secure path, as its dividends benefit to all those involved. In this respect, the announcement of 4G internet access in the West Bank is welcome and should contribute to improving economic prospects for Palestinians.

We condemn all forms of incitement to violence and hate speech, and call on all sides, especially political leaders, to condemn such acts. Hate speech stigmatizes others. It erodes social cohesion, breaks solidarity and undermines trust. It can lead to hate crimes, and unfortunately very often does. It should not be tolerated, cases should be investigated and perpetrators held accountable.

As we see in every conflict, innocent civilians, women, and children, are disproportionally affected, even when they are not directly targeted. We deplore any loss of civilian life. Civilians should always be kept out of conflict and all must be done to protect civilians in accordance with international humanitarian law. Civilian life is the same, be it Israeli, Palestinian or any other.

Civil society is a vital pillar of any democracy society and must be protected. All impediments to the operation of civil society must be removed. It is our firm view that democratic institutions based on respect for the rule of law and human rights are vital everywhere, including for the Palestinian people.

We reiterate our opposition to unilateral actions that exacerbate the conflict and undermine efforts to achieve a just and comprehensive solution to the conflict. In line with international law, settlements and their expansion are an obstacle to peace and to the realization of the of a two-State solution, and we think they are wrong and should be stopped.

We reiterate our support to the preservation of the status quo in the Holy Sites, respect for Jordan’s custodial role and the need to prevent all attempts to disrupt it.

In conclusion, we welcome any steps towards concrete and continued engagement between the parties to restore a political horizon.

There is no alternative to the path towards peace for all, through negotiation process, which should be lunched as soon as possible.

Finding solutions to difficult issues is always a matter of continued efforts, of persistence, of good will, of confidence and trust.

All must be done to help this process.

I thank you.


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