1996 News Story

Saudi minister condemns Israel at UN meeting

Deputy Foreign Minister Abdulrahman Mansouri, at the meeting yesterday of the United Nations Security Council held to review the situation in the occupied Arab territories, spoke out against the recent actions of Israel.  Referring to the regret of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the failure of Israel to abide by the agreements it had concluded with the Arab parties, Minister Mansouri stated:  “In the last few years the peace process advanced from the Madrid Peace Conference which aimed at reaching a just and comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli dispute, through difficult negotiations leading to the Oslo Agreement in 1993, to other agreements between the Arabs and Israel, but unfortunately the latter has failed to honor its commitments.”   Pointing out that the recent bloody events in the occupied territories would have an adverse impact on the future of the peace process, the Minister went on to deplore the digging of the tunnel under the Al-Aqsa Mosque.  The problem of Jerusalem, he said, will remain the core of the Arab-Israeli dispute, adding that the recent Israeli measures, which run counter to the UN resolutions, aim at the judaization of Jerusalem and the elimination of the Arab and Islamic presence in the city.   “We believe”, he said, “that those who work for the settlement of the problem of Jerusalem should take into account the UN resolutions and in particular Resolution 242 which stipulates Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied in 1967 as well as Resolutions 252 and 267 pertaining to Jerusalem.”

Noting that the policy of building further Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories runs counter to the statement of principles issued in Oslo in 1993 as well as to the agreement for the West Bank and Gaza signed in 1995 between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel, Minister Mansouri stated that the Arab countries have welcomed a just and comprehensive peace, and that the Palestinians for their part have made concessions, hoping that the Israeli side would respond positively to their peaceful trend.   He declared:  “It is to be hoped that the international community will unwaveringly extend support to the peace process”.

Minister Mansouri called on the Security Council to put an end to the illegal Israeli measures pertaining to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and urged the USA and Russia, as the sponsors of the Madrid Peace Conference, as well as the European Union and all peace-loving nations, to shoulder their responsibility and put pressure on Israel to prevent it from making changes in the characteristics of the Palestinian territories including Jerusalem, and work for the salvation of the peace process in the Middle East.

[See related Press Release from the Kingdom]