Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah has participated in the UN Security Council’s emergency session on the situation in the Middle East, stressing the importance of a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
In his statement at the session, Prince Faisal said that the Security Council’s meeting on Wednesday was the second to be held under the same difficult and painful circumstances in Gaza, adding that, since the previous session, the death toll in Gaza has reached more than 14,000, 67% of whom were women and children, with the total number of the displaced exceeding half a million people as a result of the horrific military escalation by the Israeli occupation forces and their continued violation of international charters and resolutions.
The Saudi Minister also underlined that the complete absence of international accountability mechanisms prevails in light of the Council’s inability to take any deterrent measures against these violations.
He also noted that the Kingdom hosted the Joint Arab-Islamic Summit in Riyadh on November 11.
He said the resolutions of the summit represent the will of Arab and Islamic peoples that seek to end bloodshed and unconditionally deliver relief assistance, end the violations and the large-scale suffering of the Palestinian people and support them in realizing their legitimate rights and establishing their independent state.
Prince Faisal further said that the message of the Joint Arab-Islamic summit is clear and unified: an immediate and permanent ceasefire that establishes a genuine and credible peace process.
He added: “Countries that seek peace and justice, and seek to preserve the legitimacy and solidity of the international system, whose credibility has been shaken as a result of its slow approach to this humanitarian crisis must add their voices to ours."
The Saudi Foreign Minister also welcomed the humanitarian truce reached in Gaza, voicing in the efforts of Qatar, Egypt and the US, which came as the first step to free prisoners and detainees and enable the return of the displaced and deliver adequate assistance to them. Prince Faisal said this step is not enough in light of the ongoing restrictions of the numbers of trucks entering Gaza.
He underlined the need for an unobstructed and sustainable delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza and removing all unjustified restrictions and additional complications as the situation of civilians can no longer tolerate any delay in the arrival of urgent aid to them, stressing the importance of implementing Security Council Resolution 2712, and building on it to reach a comprehensive and immediate ceasefire.
The Prince said that the truce does not relieve the Israeli side of its responsibilities within the framework of international law and international humanitarian law, and that the baseless pretexts for self-defense are unacceptable and unreasonable in light of the humanitarian tragedies repeated on a daily basis in Gaza.
Prince Faisal also stressed that allowing the military escalation to continue immediately after the end of the truce, and taking two steps back, would constitute a disgrace to the United Nations and the Security Council.
“We heard during this session that water, food, and medicine will not bring us a solution, so what will lead to a solution? More deaths, more suffering for civilians. No, what brings us closer to the solution is a ceasefire, and Israel’s response to decades-long peace efforts,” the minister said.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia presented the Arab Peace Plan at the Fez Arab Summit in 1982. The Arab Peace Initiative was also presented at 2002 Arab Summit in Beirut, and was supported by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The Palestine Liberation Organization also recognized the state of Israel in 1993. Where is the Israeli peace plan? Where is the Israeli recognition of the state of Palestine? We are advocates of peace, and peace has always been our strategic choice, and we want it to be the choice of the other side as well.”
Prince Faisal called for an international recognition under a Security Council resolution of the independent state of Palestine, and for it to gain full UN membership, renewing the call for holding a UN-organized international peace conference through which a serious and reliable peace process would be launched to guarantee the implementation of the two-state solution on the basis of international legitimacy resolutions.