No peace in Middle East without resolving Palestinian issue: FM Bilawal Bhutto

United Nations: Reaffirming its full support to the Palestinian people’s struggle for self-determination and against foreign occupation, Pakistan Monday urged the international community to help them establish an independent State of their own with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital.

“The festering wound of Israeli occupation and atrocities in occupied Palestine is the principal source of instability, tensions and conflict in the entire Middle East,” Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari told a meeting of OIC’s Committee of Six on Palestine, which was held on the margins of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.

“To bring peace and stability to the Middle East, the issue of Palestine – the source of the region’s insecurity and its multiple conflicts – must be effectively addressed as the first and most urgent priority,” he added.

The OIC Committee of Six on Palestine comprises the foreign ministers of Pakistan, Senegal, Malaysia, and Guinea plus the OIC secretary general, with the Palestinian Authority’s top diplomat as its sixth member.

At the outset, FM Bilawal strongly condemned Israel’s continued killing and wounding of Palestinian civilians, including children; violation of the sanctity of the holy places, the demolition of Palestinian homes and the forcible displacement of Palestinian families; and the brazen murder of the Palestinian journalist, Shireen Abu Aqleh.

As the Chairman of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, he said, Pakistan remains ready to join hands with other member states in any move to stop the ongoing bloodshed, and restore the human dignity and human rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.

The foreign minister said all necessary steps must be taken to stop the ongoing aggression against the Palestinian people, including the following:

  1. The international community must protect the suffering Palestinians, and should urgently take concerted actions to stop Israeli atrocities against civilian population;
  2. Attempts to create a false equivalence between Israel, the aggressor, and Palestinians, the victims, are inexcusable and, as the collective voice of the Muslim Ummah, the OIC should work in unity to dispel this deceptive perception;
  3. Appropriate accountability mechanisms should be created to seek justice against Israel’s violation of international law, including the Fourth Geneva and the other human rights Conventions; and,
  4. The establishment of a sovereign, contiguous and viable Palestinian State, within recognized and accepted pre-1967 boundaries with Al Quds al Sharif as its capital offers the only solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and a peace process to achieve this objective must be revived.

In conclusion, FM Bilawal reaffirmed Pakistan’s abiding support for the Palestinian people in their just struggle to secure legitimate rights, particularly their inalienable right to self-determination.