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H.E. Ambassador Desra Percaya
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations
Before the Security Council
On the Agenda Item:
“The Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question”
New York, 23 January 2013
At the outset, my delegation would like to thank you for convening this open debate on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question.
We thank the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, for his comprehensive briefing. The Indonesian delegation is particularly pleased to welcome the participation of His Excellency Dr. Riad Malki, Foreign Minister of the State of Palestine in this meeting.
My delegation associates itself with the statements by the distinguished representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, and Djibouti on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Like many members of the international community, Indonesia is very concerned over the absence of progress in the peace process between Israel and Palestine.
We are very clear about one thing: that the hurdle of illegal settlements is the most potent obstacle to the prospects of peace in the Middle East, with particular issue for the two-State solution.
In recent months, Israel has continued its defiance to proclaim an escalation in settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and East Jerusalem, including through the so-called “E1” corridor plan. This attitude is an affront to the cause of peace; it must be confronted, and put to an end.
It is in consideration of this that my delegation reiterates that Israel must fully abide by the resolutions of this Council in respect of settlements. Continued illegal settlements construction and their expansion compounds the problem of fragmentation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. This inevitably hinders the prospects of negotiations.
In the meantime, Gaza remains grounded by general suffering following Israel’s menacing blockade there, making recovery almost impossible in that area.
Meanwhile, we must address urgently and comprehensively, the dire humanitarian needs of the Palestinian Authority, which are directly linked to the damaging and illegal Israeli policy of withholding tax revenues. In this regard, I wish to underline the calls that have been made by the Palestinian leadership, for contributions that are urgently needed by the Palestinian Authority to conduct its functions, deploy humanitarian relief, and develop its capacity.
Indonesia remains ardently supportive of the two-State solution based on the conviction that an independent State of Palestine with rights and responsibilities equal to those of other States, will contribute to achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
The historic decision by the General Assembly to accord non-member Observer State status to Palestine, is indeed a strong testament to the support of the majority of United Nations member states in supporting the struggle of Palestine to exercise its right of self-determination. However, we have to continue our support for the full membership of Palestine at the UN, in line with the principles outlined in relevant Security Council resolutions, the Road Map of the Quartet, and the Arab Peace Initiative.
Let me now turn to the situation in Syria which has been raging for some time now.
We must immediately work to end the violence and address the dire humanitarian needs of the people. We must also ensure that appropriate humanitarian assistance can reach the people in need, in order to stop the deplorable human suffering of the Syrian people.
To complement the work of Joint Special Representative for Syria, Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, the international community must play a more robust role, and be united, to find a comprehensive solution to the situation. Indonesia also welcomes the upcoming International Pledging Conference for Syria, to be held later in Kuwait.
Finally, Mr. President, we must also start without delay, the political process aimed at finding solutions, in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the Syrian people.
I thank you.