Friday 21 June 2024

Bahrain's foreign minister speaks at the meeting. Image courtesy: BNA

Bahrain proposes UN conference to solve Palestinian issue

MANAMA, May 15, 2024

Bahrain has proposed proposed a number of initiatives, including holding a UN-backed international conference to resolve the Palestinian issue, for the approval of Arab leaders who will hold a summit in the Kingdom on May 16.
Arab Foreign Ministers yesterday held their preparatory meetings ahead of the Arab Summit being held under the presidency of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa at the Sakhir Palace, said a Bahrain News Agency report.
At the meeting, Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Bahrain's Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that Bahrain would be honoured to host the conference, in support of the rights of the Palestinian people and to establish fair and lasting peace in the region.
The meeting started with a speech by Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia, in which he highlighted his country's efforts during its presidency of the previous session of the Council of the Arab League to bolster joint Arab action and coordination.
The minister said Saudi Arabia sought to develop an effective collective action framework to address pressing regional and international challenges, particularly the Palestinian cause. He noted that this was aligned with its firm commitment to defending Arab causes, and realising the aspirations of Arab leaders and peoples for peace, stability and development.
Prince Faisal also stressed that the kingdom has worked since the start of the unprecedented attacks on the Palestinian people, in cooperation with Arab and ally countries, to exert all efforts in mobilising international support to put an end to the brutal Israeli attacks and limit the repercussions of the crisis and its expansion. He recounted the kingdom's hosting of the Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit and its participation with the resulting ministerial follow-up committee to convey a unified position on supporting the Palestinian people to influential capitals and international organisations.
Prince Faisal added that the Israeli occupational forces' continuous aggression and violation of all international laws and norms in the absence of international accountability measures has exacerbated the scale of the humanitarian catastrophe, weakened the credibility of the rules and institutions of the international system, and exposed the total inability of international institutions to maintain international peace and security.
Prince Faisal also stressed that Saudi Arabia was adamant on the need for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, ensuring adequate and continuous delivery of aid and finding a credible and irreversible path to a two-state solution, ensuring that the Palestinian people obtain their inherent right to self-determination and establish their independent state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This aligns with the Arab Peace Initiative and the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy.
The Saudi Foreign Minister underscored the importance of collaboration to advance joint Arab action and its mechanisms to address mutual threats and achieve security, stability and development in the region. He congratulated the Kingdom of Bahrain on its presidency the 33rd session of the Council of the Arab League and wished it success during its term.
Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Bahrain's Minister of Foreign Affairs, then headed the preparatory meeting. He welcomed his Arab counterparts and thanked Prince Faisal for Saudi Arabia's efforts and contributions during its presidency of the 32nd session.
Dr Al Zayani thanked Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul El Gheit and the General Secretariat's members for their cooperation with the kingdom in preparing for the Bahrain Summit.
The Foreign Minister thanked the Arab ministers for receiving him during his Arab tour and for their cooperation and support of Bahrain's efforts.
The minister emphasised that the 33rd Arab Summit comes at a critical time amidst economic challenges, tragic humanitarian conditions and regional and international conflicts that necessitate stronger cooperation and unity to defend common interests. He hoped that the Bahrain Summit will mark the beginning of a new phase of joint Arab action that is underpinned by historical relations, unity, cooperation, mutual respect, and collective security.  In this regard, he emphasised that Arab countries must believe that their strength lies in their unity and pride in their identity and values, and their ability to optimally utilise human and natural resources to fulfill the aspirations of their peoples and future generations for sustainable development and living with freedom and dignity.
The Kingdom of Bahrain, under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, continues to assert its commitment to upholding international law and implementing the principles of the charters of the United Nations and the Arab League, Dr Al Zayani said.
He added that the kingdom has also affirmed its support for maintaining Arab cooperation and coordination to defend the interests of the Arab world, its security, stability and economic and social development. In this context, he reiterated Bahrain's call for effective Arab action based on three main pillars.
The first pillar pertains to adopting comprehensive and sustainable peaceful solutions to end wars and settle conflicts. This applies mainly to putting an end to the suffering of the Palestinian people through a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, providing humanitarian requirements, granting them their legitimate rights of establishing an independent state based on the two-state solution and obtaining full UN membership. 
This also encompasses the rejection of military escalation in the region; within the framework of a joint strategic vision to establish fair, comprehensive and lasting peace, prevent the occurrence or expansion of conflicts and to resolve crises and disputes through dialogue and consultation.
The minister said that the second pillar focuses on consolidating collaboration to build constructive and balanced Arab relations, on a basis of mutual respect, good neighbourliness and political and security coordination to counter foreign intervention and organised crime, which includes countering terrorism, hate speech and extremism. This pillar also aims to promote peaceful coexistence; Arab and international partnership to achieve water, food and cyber security; enhance maritime security and create a region free of weapons of mass destruction.
The third pillar is completing the requirements of economic integration and joint Arab projects, especially in the areas of infrastructure; digital transformation; protecting the environment; facilitating the flow of trade and investment; coordinating humanitarian and development initiatives; exchange of expertise in women empowerment, youth and human rights; and development of health and educational services in line with unified Arab plans and strategies that support sustainable development.
The Arab League Secretary General then gave a speech in which he thanked the Saudi Foreign Minister for his country's efforts during its presidency of the 32nd session of the Council of the Arab League. He also thanked him for his efforts as chair of the Arab-Islamic committee to end the war on Gaza.
The Secretary General congratulated Foreign Minister Dr. Al Zayani on Bahrain's presidency of the current session which comes at a critical timing for the Arab world. He wished the minister and Bahrain success during the term.
He said that the world recognised that regional stability remains fragile and susceptible to explosion as long as the Palestinian problem remained without a solution. He added that ending the occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state were the only means of achieving long-awaited regional peace.
Abul El Gheit said that Arab efforts focused on immediately ending the way, delivery of aid to the people of Gaza and rejecting any attempts for their displacement. This was in parallel with working on achieving the two-state solution and creating an irreversible track to establish a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.


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