Syrian FM at UN: Israel obstructs peace, ME does not need alliances
Syria, Politics, 9/30/1998
Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa's on Tuesday delivered Syria's speech at the 53rd session of the UN General Assembly. He said that the Arab-Israeli conflict was given, since its beginning, a high priority on the list of the international community.
"International efforts were unrelenting to contain this conflict every time it exploded, because the ME within its distinguished strategic position and its tremendous materials as well as spiritual wealth and its renowned cultural heritage can be considered the most sensitive parameter for measuring the state of world peace and security" he said. Al-Sharaa added, the insistence of the Israeli Prime Minister on following a policy hostile to peace "his rejection of the rights of the Arabs to retain their occupied territories under the pretext of security for Israel alone, although its military arsenal is one of the mightiest and most modern military arsenal in the world, are things which do not only constitute a challenge to the Arabs, but also to the will of the international community as a whole."
He went on that Israel does not confine its concepts of security to the Arab territories it occupies, rather it is working to establish a military alliance in the region which will undermine the peace process and put the region on a path prone with dangers, tension and potential explosion. He went on adding that what the region and its peoples need is not the establishment of alliances and axes, rather they need the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace based on the full withdrawal of Israel from the "occupied Syrian Golan heights to the line of June 4, 1967 and from South Lebanon and its Western Bekaa in implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions and the land for peace formula, and to safeguard the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people including their rights to self determination and the establishment of their independent state on their national territory."
Al-Sharaa proceeded that the ME peace process faces a real crisis. It has been in a stalemate on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks for over two years as well as facing decadence on the Palestinian track "due to the Israeli intransigence." The entire peace process is on the wane so long as the Israeli government rejects the land for peace principle trying to impose a peace on the Arabs on the basis of occupation and settlement. "But Syria was and still is committed to peace, considering it a strategic option which requires the resumption of negotiations from the point at which they stopped on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks and continuing to build on the commitments and the undertakings reached until a just and comprehensive peace is established in the region."
Al-Sharaa stressed Syria's concern for the unity and territorial integrity of the Iraqi people and putting an end to the sanctions imposed on them according to a specific timetable. He added, in the meantime, Iraq is requested to implement the remaining Security Council resolutions in a way that guarantees a just resolution to the Kuwaiti prisoners of war. "Syria also calls for putting an end to the sanctions against Libya, due to its belief it is possible to address this crisis in an appropriate legal framework away from any political motivation. We fully support the Libyan demands to reach a solution to this problem on a just basis."
Syria, al-Sharaa proceeded, stands against terrorism in all its shapes and forms and it "differentiates between terrorism and peoples' legitimate rights to struggle against foreign occupation for self determination and national liberation which cannot be considered terrorism." Syria also condemns killing of innocent civilians everywhere, just as it condemns state terrorism exercised by Israel against the Arabs.
Al-Sharaa expressed the belief that the resort to force and violence in international relations, at variance with the United Nations Charter and the principles of international law, leaves the door wide open to the law of the jungle instead of trading the path of international legitimacy. In this regard, he added, Syria finds the United States shelling of the medicine factory in Sudan unjustified and constitutes a violation to the principles of international law and the charter of the UN. " From this perspective Syria supports the request of the Sudanese government to send a fact-finding mission to investigate American claims about this factory.
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