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Statement by
H.E. Mr. Riyad Al-Malki
the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine
at the Fifth Summit of the Conference on Interaction
and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA)
15 June 2019
Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan

Excellency President Emomali Rahmon,
Honourable Heads of States and Governments, Distinguished representatives of the observer countries and organizations,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Please allow me to convey the warmest regards of H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the State of Palestine, the Palestinian leadership and the regards of the Palestinian people, whom struggle for the realization of their inalienable rights, including for freedom, self-determination and independence, continue until this day.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Republic of Tajikistan for assuming the Chairmanship of CICA, I am confident that under the Presidency of Tajikistan, CICA will take major steps to promote dialogue and cooperation among Member States.

Allow me to thank His Excellency President Emomali Rahmon and the people of the Republic of Tajikistan for their warm hospitality. I would also like to thank our previous hosts, China, Turkey, and Kazakhstan, for leading the CICA process so ably. Above all, the success of this conference is a tribute to the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev, whose unrelenting work was instrumental in building this forum aiming at promoting peace, security, and stability in Asia.

As one of the founding members of CICA, the State of Palestine has spared no effort in all stages of the establishment of this organization, to contribute for the benefit of our shared vision of this continent. Achieving peace and security through syncretic dialogue and cooperation will yield salutary results in security, where all states co-exist and their peoples live in peace, freedom, independence, and prosperity.

We are gathering today at a critical juncture where the international community encounters deleterious challenges, including terrorism, violent extremism, and foreign occupation. We are confident that these challenges cannot be addressed by one State alone; it rather demands a unified international stance to resolve conflicts, combat terrorism, and to push for realizing peace and security throughout the world.

Excellencies

Ladies and gentlemen,

Since 1967, the International community has been witnessing Israel’s systematic and widespread violations and crimes against the Palestinian people and their rights. Over the years, Israel, the occupying power, has enforced an institutionalized dual system of discrimination, domination, segregation, Apartheid, and State-sanctioned terror, targeting the basic tenets of our existence and human security. It is inexorably forging ahead with its colonial and Judaization policies against Palestinian, Islamic and Christian, sanctities, in an attempt to rewrite history and change the legal and historic status of the holy city of occupied Jerusalem. These systematic approaches are encouraged by United States’ current administration whose willful, inaction, as reflected through its recent unilateral illegal and inhumane policies against the Palestinian people and their leadership, contributing to insecurity in the region, among which is related to Jerusalem and the Palestine refugees cause, is an assault on multilateralism and international order that underpins peace and security.

The US administration went even further in its assaults by cutting financial assistance to UNRWA and hospitals in Occupied East Jerusalem. Most recently, the US administration extended its assault on international law and multilateralism by recognizing Israel’s illegal annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights, in violation of international law and UN resolution and charter, threatening the stability in the region. The US administration’s tumultuous and capricious policies have been condemned by the international community, however, much has to be done to defy such policies and fulfill the rights of the Palestinian people.

The US administration plan so-called “deal of the century” is, in fact, the consecration of our century-old ordeal: no independence, no sovereignty, no freedom, and no justice.  This cannot be the future of Palestine. Our people have not struggled for so long and endured a brutal occupation to live in a gilded cage. They want freedom, not conditional liberty, they want sovereignty, not limited autonomy, they want peace and coexistence, not domination and subjugation.

Excellencies

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Palestinian people and their leadership will not accept any plan, proposal, or deal that does not conform with peace international terms of reference, UN resolutions, Arab peace initiative, and that such a deal will not succeed in achieving comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East, if it does not meet the legitimate rights of the struggling Palestinian people, at the forefront of which is their right to self-determination in their sovereign independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, the right of return for refugees in accordance with resolution 194, and the release of all prisoners, any plan undermines our existence and does not envisage an end to the Israeli occupation, the longest occupation in modern history. We underline that the only way to achieve a durable and lasting peace is to ensure the enforcement of UN resolutions and the accountability of perpetrators.

Excellencies

Ladies and gentlemen,

Respect for the rule of law at the national and international levels is necessary for maintaining international peace and security and achieving the goals of economic and social development. Therefore, we should avoid selective approaches and double-standards. The international community should renew its commitment to respect, defend, preserve, and promote the UN Charter and principles of international law order, with the aim of achieving peace and security.

I am confident that the Dushanbe Declaration of which we are adopting today, will serve the interests of multilateralism and all members of the Conference, and that this Summit will demonstrate our common striving to come to a new level of mutually beneficial cooperation in countering new threats and challenges and promoting peace and security in the Asian continent.  I would also like to extend our appreciation to States who stand by the Palestinian people in their fight for justice, freedom and independence as reflected in the Dushanbe Declaration.

Thank you