Permanent Mission to UN
Statement by the Deputy Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations, Ambassador Ana Silvia Rodríguez Abascal on the Situation in the Middle East, including the question of Palestine.
New York, 12 July, 2016
Mr. President,
Cuba supports the statement by the representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The situation in the Middle East region continues to be a matter of constant concern to the international community, which has been reflected in multiple previous debates promoted by the Security Council. 
Despite the reiterated open debates of the Council on this topic, which demonstrate an overwhelming support to the Palestinian cause, this body has failed to adopt a resolution demanding Israel to end its aggressive policies and colonizing practices
The inaction of the Council to these actions is alarming. It is unacceptable and immoral for the Security Council to remain a hostage of the dictates of a power that exercises veto or threat of veto to prevent this body from fulfilling its mandate and from protecting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
Cuba reiterates its call on this body to fulfill its responsibility under the Charter in terms of peacekeeping and international security, and to make the necessary decisions to demand from Israel the immediate end of its occupation of the Palestinian territory and other Arab territories; the blockade against the Gaza Strip; the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements and of the separation wall in the occupied Palestinian territory; the destruction and confiscation of Palestinian land and property; the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian families; the transfer of settlers to the occupied Palestinian territory, among other violations of international law, international humanitarian law and the United Nations resolutions. 
The Council must also call on Israel´s accountability for the flagrant, massive and systematic aggressions and violations of human rights of the Palestinian people and for the war crimes and collective punishments against this people.
Israel´s colonization campaign and its prolonged impunity undermine the viability of a Palestinian State and affect the possibility to solve the conflict in a just, lasting, comprehensive and peaceful way.  
Mr. President,
Cuba welcomes the regional and international efforts currently deployed to resume peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, including the French Peace Initiative for a multilateral peace conference, as well as the Arab Peace Initiative.
We took note of the report by the Quartet for Middle East Peace. In this respect, we regret the attempts to equate the responsibilities of a people under occupation and the occupying power.
We reiterate that the Security Council must fulfill its obligation to promote a negotiated solution ensuring the end of the occupation by Israeli of Palestinian territory.
The only possible solution to the question of Palestine is the peaceful coexistence of two independent states, with the establishment of the independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital on the basis of the pre-1967 borders; allowing the Palestinian people to achieve all its inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination.
Cuba is convinced that the solution to this long-standing conflict would contribute to greatly reduce the tensions currently experienced by the Middle East region.
With respect to the application for recognition as UN Member State, submitted by Palestine in the year 2011, Cuba reaffirms its full support for the Palestinian State to become a full member of this Organization and calls on the Security Council to pronounce itself and accept this application without further delay. That is the will of the vast majority of States in this Organization.
Mr. President,
With regard to the situation in Syria, Cuba reiterates that peace in this country will only be achievable by respecting the right of the Syrian people to determine its own destiny. The political solution, through dialogue and negotiation, and without prior conditions, is the only viable way to solve the conflict in Syria. 
Cuba welcomes the extension of hostilities cessation and the new paths opened up in order to provide a political, peaceful and negotiated solution to the conflict. 
Accordingly, we commend the efforts by Mr. Staffan de Mistura, Joint Special Represen¬tative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, to reestablish final and lasting peace in Syria. 
Cuba continues to attentively expect for the eventual resumption of talks in Geneva.
We support the Syrian people in its aspirations to live in peace and to determine its destiny, without external interference. Those who have fuelled this conflict from outside, with the declared objective of imposing a change of regime, are responsible for the thousands of civilian casualties resulting from the conflict. 
Cuba regrets the loss of innocent lives resulting from this situation and condemns all acts of violence that take place in this country against the civilian population.
The threat posed by terrorist groups in Syria is the major challenge faced by the Arab nation. Fight against this scourge demands the involvement of the international community. 
We reject and condemn all terrorist acts, methods and practices in all forms and manifestations, by whoever, against whomever and wherever committed, regardless of the motives, including state terrorism. 
Cuba reiterates that the promotion of an interventionist agenda, under the pretext of fighting terrorism, must not be allowed. 
We demand the cessation of violations of the Syrian sovereignty and of the foreign military presence without the consent and coordination of operations with the Syrian government, the only authority legitimately elected in the country.
We recognize the efforts and cooperation of the Syrian government to facilitate the access to humanitarian aid. Likewise, we reaffirm that humanitarian aid must be provided in full compliance with resolution A/Res/46/182 of the United Nations General Assembly.
Mr. President,
The Council is called upon to promote a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the conflicts in the Middle East, allowing to safeguard the territorial sovereignty, security and integrity of all the States of the region.
The peace, security, welfare and development deserved by all peoples, including the peoples of the Middle East, will depend on the decisive action of this Body, by virtue of the powers conferred upon by the Charter of the Organization.
Thank you very much.
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