United Nations, New York, 30,July,2013
Pakistan today welcomed the beginning of direct negotiations between Palestine and Israel. “The talks in Washington have rekindled the hopes for a peace process that could lead to enduring stability and security in the Middle East”, Ambassador Masood Khan, Permanent of Pakistan to the UN said at the meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people at the UN today.
Pakistan also expressed full solidarity with the people of Palestine and emphasized that the talks should actualize a two-state solution which paves the way for a viable, geographically contiguous Palestinian state created on the basis of pre-1967 borders with Al Quds al Sharif as its capital, living side by side with Israel in peace and security.
“The two-state solution should not be allowed to slip away. The formula for the Middle East peace is already on the table”, Ambassador Khan said.
He paid tribute to Secretary of State John Kerry for his persistent diplomatic efforts that have led to the recommencement of talks and also commended the concurrence of the Palestinian and Israeli negotiators to participate in the talks.
Ambassador Khan also underlined the urgency in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. “The Israeli settlements in the West Bank have doubled since 2000. Demographic balance is shifting”, he added.
He welcomed the Israeli announcement to release 104 prisoners and demanded that this measure should be implemented expeditiously. He also demanded that more Palestinian prisoners should be released; settlements in the occupied territories should be frozen; blockade in Gaza should be eased, and restrictions on movement removed. “In the meantime, the rights of the Palestinians should be respected; and all tendencies and inclinations towards violence curbed”, he added