Kingdom calls for full Palestinian membership at the U.N.

October 16, 2012

During an open debate at the United Nations on the situation in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia confirmed that it regards the Palestinian issue as a top priority and reiterated its support for Palestine’s request for full U.N. membership. Speaking in New York last night, Saudi Permanent Representative to the U.N. Ambassador Abdullah bin Yahya Al-Moalimi advocated the establishment an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and with Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as its capital, as well as a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Arab territories.

Ambassador Al-Moalimi condemned Israel’s ill-treatment of Palestinians, as well as the expansion of Jewish settlements and the attacks on Islamic holy sites in Al-Quds. He stated, “The most accurate description of the illegal settlement acts carried out by Israel is that they are a cancer threatening the two-state solution and a clear violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the occupation authorities from taking any action that could lead to changing the geographic and demographic character of the occupied territories.”

On the topic of Syria, Ambassador Al-Moalimi insisted that the Assad regime must realize that its hour of departure has arrived and that it is not possible for it to rule by killing innocent people. The international community, he said, must intensify its support for the Syrian people by all possible means. Furthermore, crimes against humanity must be investigated so the perpetrators can eventually be held accountable.

Ambassador Al-Moalimi warned that the Syrian regime’s aggression has extended beyond its country’s borders and is threatening the security of the entire region. Unfortunately, he said, the Syrian government enjoys military support and political cover from major countries, allowing it to continue pursuing a military solution. The Kingdom, he said, supports the efforts of U.N.-Arab League Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to achieve an end to the violence in Syria and a peaceful transition of power.

Regarding the Iranian nuclear file, Ambassador Al-Moalimi said that the Kingdom views with concern Tehran’s continuing implementation of its nuclear program away from the eyes of the international community. This situation, he asserted, poses a grave threat to the security of the Arab Gulf region. While Ambassador Al-Moalimi emphasized the right of all countries to attain nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, he insisted on the need for such endeavors to be fully supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He reiterated both the Kingdom’s support for the efforts of the 5+1 negotiations and its hope that a nuclear-free weapons zone will eventually be realized in the Middle East.