Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz delivers Kingdom’s U.N. speech

September 29, 2012

During an address to the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz stressed the importance of restarting the Mideast peace process and providing support for the Palestinian people. “The Palestinian issue, which is the keystone of the Arab-Israeli conflict, remains a constant challenge for the United Nations since its inception,” he said. “Israel is the side that should bear full responsibility for the stagnation endured by the peace process.” In order to counter Israeli intransigence, Prince Abdulaziz insisted that the world community must “move quickly to put an end to the tragedy of the Palestinian people and provide all forms of support and assistance to their national authority.” He added, “My country believes that granting the State of Palestine full membership in the United Nations is its very normal and legitimate right that all of us must support.”

Turning to the ongoing violence in Syria, Prince Abdulaziz stated, “This crisis has resulted in tens of thousands of victims and hundreds of thousands of displaced and refugees who have fled into neighboring countries.” He criticized the failure of the United Nations to respond effectively, due to divisions in the Security Council, and condemned “the intransigence and arrogance of the Syrian regime.” Citing the Assad government’s disregard for both humanitarian losses and international criticism, Prince Abdulaziz urged the international community to take action. “We believe that the success of the mission of Lakhdar Al-Ibrahimi, the Joint United Nations-Arab League Envoy for Syria, requires implementing a new strategy and a clear plan that aims to achieve a peaceful transition of power,” he said.

Moving on to Yemen, Prince Abdulaziz cited the country’s “peaceful transition of power” and advised Yemeni authorities to “continue the same positive and constructive approach to confront[ing] foreign interference in Yemen’s internal affairs and to achiev[ing] the desired security, economic, and social challenges.” Recalling the Kingdom’s continuous financial, humanitarian, and political assistance for its neighbor, he called upon the global community “to fulfill its pledged commitments for Yemen, in addition to providing it with all forms of support to achieve these goals.”

On the subject of Iran, Prince Abdulaziz characterized the Iranian nuclear file as “one of the most important challenges that threatens international peace and security in general, and the security and stability of the Arab Gulf region in particular.” He called upon Iran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and to implement the relevant Security Council resolutions, while also maintaining the right of all countries to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Advocating a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East, he called upon Israel to submit its nuclear facilities to IAEA inspections.

Addressing counterterrorism efforts, Prince Abdulaziz noted the many international conferences sponsored by the Kingdom on that topic, as well as its support for the establishment of the United Nations Center for Counter Terrorism. Praising the initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Abdulaziz for interfaith and cross-cultural dialogue, he stated, “Our world today is in a pressing need for dissemination of the culture of tolerance and understanding between the followers of religions in order to promote dialogue.”

Finally, Prince Abdulaziz brought up the recent film that portrayed the Prophet Muhammad, saying, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia strongly condemns the act of an irresponsible group who produced an offensive movie against the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The Kingdom asserts its rejection of all acts that offend or disdain religions and their sacrosanct symbols.” However, he strongly condemned the attacks against the United States’ foreign missions, condemning the violence and stressing the inviolability of diplomatic posts.

text of speech in English
text of speech in Arabic

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