Speaking in the General Assembly on Palestine and the Situation in the Middle East, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, said that the time had come to bring an end to the tragedy of Palestine and reinvigorate hopes of peace and mutual co-existence in the Middle East.

Declaring that the question of Palestine was about the commitment of international community to abide by the principles of the UN Charter, Ambassador Lodhi said that the unresolved Palestine dispute represented the world’s collective failure to protect the fundamental rights of all human beings, including their right to self-determination.

“The dark shadows of occupation and oppression”, she said, “have lengthened over time and have not only betrayed the hopes and aspirations of generations of Palestinians, but have also sowed the seeds of endless hostility and discord in the Middle East.”

Ambassador Lodhi also pointed to recent developments that had resulted in erosion of the fundamental principles of the two-state solution and have increased the sense of frustration and despondency.

She also reiterated Pakistan’s long-standing principled position that resolving this issue would require a comprehensive settlement, ending occupation and realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including to self-determination and independence and achieving a two-state solution.

She maintained that there was no alternative to “a viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders and with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital”. This she said was the only sustainable guarantee for enduring peace in the Middle East.

Rejecting the illegal Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan, Ambassador Lodhi urged the Security Council to play its role to ensure withdrawal of occupation forces from all Arab lands, including from Lebanon and the Syrian Golan.