“THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST, INCLUDING THE PALESTINIAN QUESTION"
wish to thank Álvaro de Soto for his comprehensive briefing and insightful
comments. My delegation - and myself in particular, for the long-standing
friendship Álvaro de Soto and I keep - was very pleased at his appointment as
Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process, in a clear recognition of
his diplomatic skills and capacity.
President, I wish to express our appreciation for the holding of this public
session, in response to the request made by the Arab Group.
peoples in Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian territories face now a
critical moment, one that has a true potential for reverting the deadlock and
paralysis that has characterized the peace process in recent years. As our
delegation sees it, the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and northern West Bank is a
first, yet important step towards the end of the occupation and the embodiment
of the vision of two States - Israel and Palestine - living side by side in
peace and security, by means of a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement to
the conflict. It is essential, therefore, that it be successful.
this context, the Israeli Government should be encouraged to persevere in their
efforts towards disengagement in accordance with the proposed timetable.
Coordination with the Palestinian Authority, so that the operation can be
undertaken in a smooth and orderly manner, has a crucial importance . Actions
taken in this regard in recent weeks should be commended, and my Delegation
believes they must be intensified in the days to come.
At the same time, facilitating efforts undertaken by international
partners and neighboring States are to be praised.
Government took note, with satisfaction, of the most recent statement by the
Quartet principals, in London, whereby they emphasized the urgent need for
Israel and the Palestinians to work directly and cooperatively with each other,
with the assistance of James Wolfensohn, the Quartet Special Envoy for Gaza
Disengagement. The Quartet also stressed that the coordinated support of the
international donor community is crucial for the success of Mr. Wolfensohn's
mission, and urged Arab states to engage fully in this regard.
complex, sensitive character of the Israeli withdrawal requires, to the maximum
possible extent, a predominance of calm and stability on the ground. My
delegation believes that the recent escalation of violence in the area runs
counter to the interests of both sides, and that the parties must do their
utmost to ensure restraint, and abide by the understandings achieved at Sharm-el-Sheikh,
with a view to maintaining the cease-fire.
practice of extra-judicial killings by Israeli forces, resumed in recent days,
must be halted. My delegation also followed with deep concern the
intensification of rocket and mortar attacks by Palestinian armed groups against
Israeli targets, including civilians. One of these attacks resulted in the death
of an Israeli girl, of Brazilian origin - a sad fact that our people received
with profound regret. My delegation also condemns the terrorist attack which
took place in Netanya some days ago. In this context, my Government received
positively the news that the commitments to the cease-fire made by Palestinian
factions will be honored.
believes that all Palestinians should be focused, at this stage, in supporting
and providing leverage to the Palestinian Authority in its undertakings.
building is a core element at the present juncture. As such, my delegation is
alarmed at news on increasing settlement activities in the West Bank, or even
worse, the revision of the route and the acceleration of the construction of the
Wall around Jerusalem by Israel. These measures deeply affect efforts to promote
trust between the two Governments and between their peoples. They also have a
very negative impact on the prospect of a just, lasting and comprehensive
solution to the conflict, as they affect core final status issues.
construction of the Wall around Jerusalem is likely to affect 55 thousand people
in their daily affairs, as mentioned by the Special Coordinator. Moreover, it
also prejudges the resolution of a dispute over an issue that has been central
since the Partition Plan, and subject to many resolutions by the United Nations,
both in the Security Council and in the General Assembly. I recall that any
solution to the status of Jerusalem should take into account the legitimate
concerns of both sides, and include internationally guaranteed provisions to
ensure freedom of religion and of conscience for all its inhabitants, as well as
permanent, free and unhindered access to all its Holy sites by the people of all
religions and nationalities. Israel should be encouraged to reverse its decision
on this matter, as well as to conform with the legal opinion of the
International Court of Justice in all activities related to the Wall.
Brazil is deeply alarmed with the dire humanitarian and economic situation in the occupied territories. In this context, my delegation commends the endeavors undertaken by Special Envoy Wolfensohn to address this situation and alleviate the plight of the Palestinian people. My Government is willing to contribute to these efforts, especially in providing assistance and expertise for the establishment of social programmes on the ground. The Brazilian authorities are deeply interested in exploring modalities of cooperation in this regard.
of all, however, my delegation emphasizes the importance that Israel faces up
its responsibilities in this field, by easing the constraints applied to the
flow of goods and people in and out of Gaza and the West Bank and between them.
the situation in Lebanon, my delegation is pleased with the naming of the new
Government. Brazil is certain that the new authorities will work in the interest
and for the benefit of all the Lebanese people. The international community, on
its turn, should be supportive of the Governmental efforts. Actions that could
have a negative impact on Lebanese unity and stability must be avoided.
regards the situation along the 'Blue Line', my delegation reiterates its call
on both sides for restraint and full compliance with relevant Security Council
resolutions. In the coming days, the Council will consider the
Secretary-General's report on the activities of UNIFIL; Brazil will favor the
renewal of the Force's mandate for a further six-month period, taking into
account the prevailing tensions in the area and the request made by the Lebanese
Government in this regard.
I wish to reiterate our commitment to a comprehensive peace in the Middle East
that takes into account the need of addressing all aspects of the conflict.