Statement by H.E Ambassador Ahmed Saree, Charge’ d’afffairs of the Permanent Mission of the Maldives to the United Nations at the Open Debate of the Security Council on the situation on the Middle East
15 October 2012
In December 2010 the Middle East and North Africa saw the onset of actions that would come to be known as the Arab Spring. What began as a peaceful movement has now become a display of overt violence and bloodshed in Syria. The Maldives believes that this issue is central to any discussion of the current political situation in the Middle East.
In July of this year, speaking at this open debate, the Maldives called for outright peace in Syria. Now, with increasing hostility along the Turkish border, as well as daily reports of increasing deaths in the area, it has become clear that the Syrian issue threatens to engulf the Middle East. Peace must prevail.
In July we applauded the work of the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy Mr. Kofi Annan and those of the UN Observer team. However in the wake of Mr. Annan’s frustrated resignation, and his dire warning of this conflict “engulfing the region” the Maldives is increasingly concerned: this has moved far beyond a domestic conflict. We desire the immediate end to hostilities within Syria, and the ceasing of operations that led to actions such as the mortar fire that hit the Turkish border town of Akçakale.It has been and continues to be our hope that the UN Security Council will adopt an effective response to curb violence in Syria, and along its borders, therefore avoiding a larger conflict in the region.
Disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons in those areas affected by the Syrian conflict is an important step forward in preserving peace in this region, restricting the damage stemming from the new skirmishes seen along the Syrian-Turkish border. As a nation bound by non-aggression and peaceful diplomacy, the Maldives wishes to see international policy conducted in the same manner.
Along with the conflict in Syria, the Middle East is immersed in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. The Maldives remains stout and determined that Palestine must be recognized as a legitimate state. The Maldives believes that a two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine coexisting, living side by side in peace, is the only way to bring about peace to Middle East. The Maldives do not believe that this recognition would hinder peace talks; rather foresee it strengthening and solidifying a tangible solution.
Having been recognized by UNESCO in October 2011, it is clear that a self-sustaining Palestinian government is possible. The burden of governance is weighty, however my delegation sees an administration strong enough to bear this load. We will therefore continue to support the inclusion of an independent Palestinian state within the United Nations. It is now the obligation of the Security Council to push this resolution forward, bringing the world closer to ending this lengthy conflict.
The Maldives applauds the recent Presidential elections in Egypt and continues to support the ongoing democratic developments in the region. As a democratic Muslim nation, with a wide political spectrum, we understand the growing pains associated with transitions in the Middle East and those relating to implementation of democratic norms.
We inherently believe these issues to be of the utmost immediate importance, and therefore urge all involved parties to look to the long term development of the region. The violence, and unmitigated human rights abuses prevailing in Syria today are a disgrace to the community of nations. In a region plagued by one crisis after another, we call on a renewed commitment from all stakeholders to the development of peace and stability.