Statement by Ambassador Asoke K. Mukerji,...
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Statement by Ambassador Asoke K. Mukerji, Permanent Representative of India during the Security Council Open Debate on  “The Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question”  (July 22, 2014)

Mr. President,

1. India is deeply concerned at the steep escalation in the current conflict between Israel and Palestine resulting in large number of civilian casualties and heavy damage to property.

2. When the Council last held its open debate in April 2014, the direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine, which began in late July 2013 after a gap of more than two years, had ended without any outcome. Instead of resumption of dialogue, we are today faced with the tragic resumption of the conflict.

3. We in India, Mr. President, are following the current situation with a great deal of concern. We have called upon both sides to exercise maximum restraint and avoid taking actions that may further exacerbate the situation and threaten the peace and security of the region. India supports all efforts for an immediate ceasefire between the parties involved.

4. We remain hopeful that a sustainable ceasefire will be reached between the two sides, linked to the resumption of the peace process, for a comprehensive resolution of the Palestinian issue.  India remains firmly convinced that dialogue remains the only viable option that can effectively address the issues confronting the region and its people.  We hope that both sides will demonstrate the necessary political will to agree to a cease fire and return to the negotiating table.

Mr. President,

5. India’s deep association with, and continuing commitment to, Palestine is rooted in our modern history that goes back to our struggle for independence.  We would also like to reiterate our support for a negotiated solution to the Israeli Palestinian issue based on the relevant UN resolutions, the Arab Peace Plan and the Quartet Roadmap resulting in a sovereign, independent, viable and united state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, living within secure and recognized borders, side by side and at peace with Israel.

6. India has consistently held that the blockade of Gaza that adversely affects essential services, economic activities and infrastructure development must be lifted.  We reiterate that this blockade and the issue of increasing settlement activities need to be addressed to take forward the peace process to reach a mutually acceptable political solution.

Mr. President,

7. We once again call on both sides to agree to an immediate ceasefire and start a process of peaceful dialogue.

I thank you.

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