Work toward two-state solution to continue despite failed draft resolution: Palestine

10:10, February 20, 2011      

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The permanent observer of Palestine to the United Nations said here Friday that Palestine will continue to pursue a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict despite the failure of a draft resolution that would have condemned expansion of Israeli settlement building.

Riyad Mansour's remarks came in a speech to the UN Security Council after the draft resolution, though approved by 14 out of 15 countries on the council, was defeated by a U.S. veto. The United States as well as Russia, France, China, and Britain, the permanent members of the council, can defeat any council resolution with a veto.

"Despite the negative outcome today, we continue to call -- and will continue to call -- on the Security Council to uphold its duties and responsibilities vis-a-vis the question of Palestine because we believe in international law and believe in the central role of the Security Council in maintaining international peace and security," Mansour said.

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process was resumed in August 2010 only to stall again later in the year when Israel failed to renew a moratorium on settlement building.

"Israel, the occupying power, should not question the determination of the international community to bring an end to these violations, including its illegal settlement campaign, including in Occupied East Jerusalem," Mansour said.

He stated that though he still believed there was plenty of international support behind halting Israel's settlements, he feared that the message sent by the defeat of the draft resolution "only encourages Israel's intransigence and impunity."

"This must be remedied," he said. "Otherwise, we will face a situation where Israel's illegal, reckless and expansionist campaign puts into final jeopardy the prospects for achieving our collective goal, the goal that will bring peace and security to our region: the two-state solution for peace of an independent and viable state of Palestine living side by side with Israel on the basis of the 1967 borders."

The two-state solution is supported and sought by the United Nations, the Arab League, the European Union and most of the 192 UN members.

Speaking to reporters outside the council chambers after the Security Council meeting ended, Mansour said that Palestine will continue to work within the United Nations "until Israel can be brought into compliance with its obligation with international law."

"Of course, we will review all of the options available to us but we will continue coming back to the Security Council," he said. "We will also go to other parts of the UN including the General Assembly."

Mansour also said that he was pleased to hear from many UN delegations that "doors should be open to Palestine for membership in the UN system by September."

Palestine seeks to be upgraded from observer status in the world body.

Source: Xinhua
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