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Statement by H.E. Mr. Sven Jürgenson, Permanent Representative of Estonia to the UN at the Security Council Open Debate on "The situation in The Middle East, including the Palestinian Question", 25 January 2018

25.01.2018

Mr. President,

 

Estonia aligns itself fully with the statement made by the EU.

We share the view that despite all difficulties, we have to strive towards a just and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the two-state solution, with both states living side by side in peace and security and mutual recognition. There is no alternative to a negotiated two-state solution. The regional context, including the ongoing radicalization and the spread of terrorism, makes it even more urgent to end this conflict. The status-quo is not an option, as the viability of the two state solution is constantly being eroded by emerging new facts on the ground. We urge both parties to demonstrate their stated commitment to the two state solution through concrete actions. At the same time, actions by either side which call into question their stated commitment must be avoided. We reaffirm our position that the status of Jerusalem has to be resolved through negotiations in line with relevant United Nations resolutions. The international community should actively support the parties to restore confidence and create an environment of trust necessary to engage in meaningful negotiations as soon as possible.

 

Today, it is crucial to stabilize the situation and to reverse negative trends on the ground.  We recall the 2016 Quartet report recommendations which called upon both sides to de-escalate tensions by exercising restraint and refraining from provocative actions as well as rhetoric. In order to restore trust, Palestinian side should act decisively to cease incitement to violence and strengthen ongoing efforts to combat and condemn terrorism. Israel should cease the policy of illegal settlement construction and expansion, designating land for exclusive Israeli use, and denying Palestinian development. Both sides should take all necessary steps to prevent violence and protect the lives and property of all civilians.

 

Estonia is deeply concerned about the funding cuts to the UN Relief Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, UNRWA, which has been an essential lifeline for many Palestinians for decades, providing basic services, including food and support to children’s education and healthcare. Humanitarian aid should not be politicized. Estonia has supported annually the work of UNRWA and will continue to do so. Estonia has also supported bilaterally the capacity building of Palestine administration by developing e-governance services.

 

 

Thank you.

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