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Kabtani to Asharq Al-Awsat: Only Tunisian Text Discussed at Security Council

Kabtani to Asharq Al-Awsat: Only Tunisian Text Discussed at Security Council

Saturday, 16 May, 2020 - 06:30
Tunisia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Kais Kabtani

Tunisia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Kais Kabtani has stressed that only a resolution drafted by his country and France on a ceasefire in various conflicts around the world during the coronavirus pandemic is under discussion at the Security Council.

“The only draft resolution put on the (Council’s) table is Tunisia’s,” Kabtani told Asharq Al-Awsat. “There’s no other resolution,” he said, when asked about a new text submitted by Germany and Estonia on Tuesday.

The latest draft-resolution was “stillborn,” the diplomat said, adding that most Council members are willing to discuss the Tunisian-French draft, which was introduced seven weeks ago.

“The United States and China are ready to reach an agreement” on the text, said Kabtani.

The main point of contention in the Tunisian-French resolution is the mention of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“The dangers facing humanity today require us to overcome such differences,” the ambassador told Aaharq Al-Awsat when asked if he believed the problem on the mention of the WHO could be resolved.

“Tunisian President Kais Saied is personally following up the deliberations on the draft resolution because he believes that the situation requires a strong and consensual” move, said Kabtani, calling on the Security Council to assume its full responsibility.

Saied and the Tunisian Foreign Minister are in daily contact with the Security Council’s member states so that they overcome their differences and reach consensus, he added.

On whether Tunisia had set a timeframe for unanimity on the text, the ambassador said an agreement hinges on the Council members, reiterating his call for unity among them.

Asked about coordination with the African and Arab groups, Kabtani said that since Tunisia’s election as a non-permanent member, it has announced that it would be the voice of African and Arab countries.

“We do so with pride and enthusiasm,” he said.

According to the diplomat, Tunisia is in constant coordination with the Arab group in the Council on most Arab causes, mainly that of Palestine.

Kabtani warned about the dangers of Israel’s planned annexation of Palestinian territories in the occupied West Bank, saying it strikes the Arab peace initiative and the two-state solution in clear violation of international law.

Confirming coordination with Saudi Arabia on issues such as Yemen’s war, the diplomat told the daily that Tunisia calls for the respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yemen.

“We also back all regional and international efforts to push Yemen’s political process forward through UN-sponsored talks,” he said.

On US efforts to extend the Security Council arms embargo on Tehran, Kabtani said: “Our stance is clear. We reject all that leads to the proliferation of arms.”

“Tunisia rejects all forms of meddling in Arab internal affairs,” he said while stressing the importance of preserving the security of Gulf states and the region.

“But we also call for good neighborly ties and peaceful coexistence among countries,” he added.

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