Security Council discusses US Middle East plan

The UN will continue to support the efforts of the Palestinians and Israelis aimed at resolving the conflict on the basis of the relevant UN resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements, which reflect the principle of peaceful coexistence of two states - Israel and Palestine - within the borders that existed before 1967. Peace For Israel and Palestine was stated by the head of the UN, speaking in the Security Council at a meeting dedicated to the Middle East settlement, in particular - the US peace initiative.

UN POSITION

UN Secretary General António Guterres recalled the growing tensions throughout the region and a new wave of violence in Libya, Yemen and Syria. “In this context, there is a growing need to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which has been going on for many years and impedes long-term peace in the Middle East,” Guterres said.

He stressed that the position of the UN on this issue is conditioned by the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly, which the Secretariat is obliged to implement. “The time has come for dialogue, reconciliation and common sense,” said the Secretary General. "I call on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to demonstrate the will necessary to achieve a just and lasting peace that must be supported by the international community."

USA INITIATIVE

Nikolai Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, announced that on January 28, the United States presented a plan, which, according to Washington, should form the basis for further negotiations between the parties. According to Mladenov, Israel approved the initiative, but the Palestinian government rejected it. The Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and a number of African Union members also refused to support the American plan. Representatives of the European Union said that Washington's initiative does not meet the "parameters approved by the international community."

Violence erupted in the occupied territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza, after the US announced its plan, Mladenov said. “Further escalation and provocations may further complicate the situation [...], - said the UN Special Coordinator. “All parties must exercise restraint and clearly and unequivocally condemn violence wherever it occurs.”

Unilateral measures will not help resolve the conflict, but those who reject the American plan, for their part, should not resort to violence

During the same period, Israeli officials began talking about the unilateral annexation of a vast part of the West Bank, including all Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley, Mladenov said.

The United States, according to Mladenov, announced the creation of a joint commission with Israel to work on a more detailed conceptual [geographical] map that would reflect the essence of the American initiative. "This will allow the United States to recognize as legitimate Israel's decision on the operation of Israeli legislation in certain areas of the West Bank," the UN representative said.

He recalled that the Secretary General has repeatedly opposed unilateral steps. The annexation of the territories, according to Mladenov, will have the most negative impact on the prospects for a settlement based on a two-state solution.

“Unilateral measures will not help resolve the conflict, but those who reject the American plan, for their part, should not resort to violence,” the Special Coordinator emphasized. He expressed the hope that "the Security Council will join the call of the Secretary-General to seek a mutually acceptable solution to the conflict and a constructive dialogue between the parties."