New York: The UAE called for intensifying efforts to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and underscored its commitment to working with regional and international partners to find a solution to the Palestinian issue that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.
In a statement delivered by Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN, at the UN General Assembly’s plenary meeting on the Question on Palestine, she said: “The Middle East is witnessing many conflicts and crises that have exhausted its people. With the outbreak of COVID-19, existing challenges are exacerbated, making it a priority for the international community to seek permanent solutions to these issues by rethinking previous approaches and implementing new measures to bring peace and stability to the region.”
Ambassador Nusseibeh recalled the solidarity message that His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, sent to the UN on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which stated: “The UAE government and people reiterate their permanent, longstanding commitment to supporting the brotherly Palestinian people in achieving all of their legitimate rights in accordance with international law and relevant UN resolutions.”
Coinciding with the UAE’s 49th national day celebration, Ambassador Nusseibeh emphasized that the Palestinian issue has been a foreign policy priority since the founding of the UAE.
She underlined that the UAE will not abandon its firm position, which is in line with the Arab position, in support of the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. She stressed that this is in accordance with the internationally agreed parameters and the Arab Peace Initiative. To this end, she added that effort needs to be made towards supporting initiatives aimed at creating an environment conducive to peace and the establishment of the two-state solution.
Recalling the Abraham Accords, a product of tireless political and diplomatic negotiations that also helped freeze the annexation of Palestinian lands, Ambassador Nusseibeh said that the treaty will support the UAE’s positive and effective efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.
She also stressed the need to stop illegal practices in the Palestinian territories, including building and expanding settlements, violating the sanctity of holy places in Jerusalem, demolishing property, and continuing the blockade on Gaza.
Furthermore, Ambassador Nusseibeh expressed grave concern for the deteriorating humanitarian, economic, and health conditions in the Palestinian territory, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She emphasized that the need to support vital sectors in Palestine, especially the health sector. She renewed the UAE’s commitment to providing aid to the Palestinian people, including by supporting UN agencies and outlined the UAE’s financial contributions thus far, which exceeded USD 840 million from 2013-2020.
The UAE is one of the major donors to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). She added that the UAE – as chair of UNRWA’s Advisory Committee since July 2020 – is seeking to strengthen the Agency’s work, including in the digital transformation of education, empowerment of women and youth, and environmental sustainability.