Saudi Ambassador reiterates Kingdom’s support for the Palestinian People and their Right to Self-Determination
H.E. Mr Abdulrahman Alahmed, Saudi Ambassador to Belgium and Head of Mission to the EU, spoke on behalf of the Kingdom at the the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for Coordination of Development Assistance for the Palestinian Authority on 4 May in Brussels. The full text of his speech is given below.
In the name of God the Most Graceful the Most Merciful
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, we welcome the convening of this meeting, wishing success in its work and deliberations.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reiterates its firm support for the Palestinian people and its inalienable rights, foremost of which is the right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent and fully sovereign Palestinian State, in the occupied Palestinian territories since 1964, including Jerusalem, in accordance with the Constitution of the United Nations, its relevant resolutions and International legal standards and principles.
Saudi Arabia also calls for the withdrawal of Israel from all the Arab-occupied territories and an end to the construction of settlements on the Palestinian territories, which are illegal and present a serious obstacle to peace.
In 2002, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia presented its historic Peace Initiative, which has been adopted by the Beirut Arab Summit and became an Arab initiative for peace that was equally adopted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. It represented an important and historic turning point in the peace process, and set in motion a new phase to end the Arab-Israeli conflict, in addition to laying the foundation for a comprehensive and just peace, where Palestinians, Israelis and all people of the region live in harmony, security and prosperity.
The Amman Declaration, issued by the last Arab Countries’ Summit in March, reaffirms this initiative, strengthens the commitment of the Arab side, and calls on the Israeli side to initiate a response for peace.
The Palestinian issue is at the centre of the conflict in the Middle East, and is the focal point of all conflicts in the region. One of the most dangerous aspects of the conflict in Palestine are Israel’s plans to make the city of Jerusalem exclusively Jewish; to change its demographic structure, distort its Arab-Islamic identity and tamper with its Islamic holy sites.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rejects any violation of Jerusalem and any attempt to circumvent the historical and religious status of 1.5 billion Muslims. The Kingdom firmly denounces any attempt to change its legal status, admit it as the capital of Israel, or transfer any embassy to it. We call on all States to abide by international resolutions in this regard.
Since the inception of the Palestinian cause, Saudi Arabia has committed itself to providing material and moral support to the Palestinian Authority. This support, both bilateral or through International Organizations, underpins the steadfastness of the brotherly Palestinian people at all political, economic and humanitarian levels, either as humanitarian aid relief or as a support for reconstruction programs, in various sectors such as education, health, infrastructure and many more. In this respect, the Government of Saudi Arabia paid its full share up to March 2017, which brings the total amount paid to support the Palestinian budget, to more than 2.3 billion US dollars since 2002.
In this regard, we emphasize on how to improve the regularity of financial resources provided to the Palestinian Authority. In addition, the most pressing step to be made in this endeavour is to regulate and maintain the monthly transfers of tax revenues collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. The International Community should work to achieve that goal, as donors cannot step in each time Israel stops paying tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority.
The time has come to give the people of Palestine a peaceful and secure life. We call on all donor countries to fulfil their commitments. The international community must act to open the crossings as soon as possible, to ensure that they remain open so that donors can implement their plans and programs for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, taking into consideration that the financial support alone is not the sole solution to the problem of the Palestinians. Political support, especially from the international community, is required now: to resolve the Palestinian issue; to achieve real, lasting justice; to improve the economic, social and development conditions of the Palestinian people; and to seek lasting peace in Palestine and in the broader region.
His Excellency Mr Abdulrahman Bin Sulaiman Alahmed
Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Head of the Mission to the European Union