Pakistan urges reconciliation in Middle East to unite Ummah

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 29 (APP):Underscoring the need for reconciliation in the Middle East, Pakistan told the U.N. Security Council Tuesday that Prime Minister Imran Khan has been holding consultations with the leaderships of Saudi Arabia and Iran to forge unity within the ranks of the Islamic Ummah.

“Pakistan will continue to play its role for peace and stability in the region,” Ambassador Lodhi, the outgoing Pakistani permanent representative to the UN, said while participating in a debate on the situation in the Middle East.

Earlier this month, the prime minister made flying visits to Tehran and Riyadh where he had talks with top leaders of Iran and Saudi Arabia in a bid to ease the current tensions between the two countries.

“At this precarious moment in history, reconciliation within the region is imperative to avoid further instability, the Pakistani envoy said, adding that it was essential for a peaceful and prosperous Middle East.

In this regard, she emphasized that any framework for regional peace must be built on the foundation of mutual respect.

Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Saudi Arabia, will represent Pakistan at the Islamic Summit

Calling upon all parties to abandon the pursuit of narrow national interests, the Pakistani envoy said any international involvement must be based on an unequivocal commitment to multilateral solutions and political processes.

Indeed, unilateral measures only cause suffering to civilians, and nowhere is that more evident than in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, she said.

“The continued military occupation, expanding settlement activity in the occupied territory, including East Jerusalem, and the looming threat of the annexation of the West Bank have not only undermined the goal of a two-State solution, but have also imperiled peace and security in the Middle East and beyond,” the Pakistani envoy said.

“On our part, Pakistan’s solidarity with the people of Palestine is firm and unwavering.”

Pointing out that Jammu and Kashmir marked its seventy-second anniversary of illegal occupation on October 27, Ambassador Lodhi said the Palestinians will soon mark the same anniversary of their own illegal partition, but underlined that all attempts at subjugation ultimately fail.

“Much as the continuing tragedy of the Palestinians and the Kashmiris still awaits redressal, they are nonetheless, reassured in their conviction that while dark and forbidding, the night of occupation will yield one day to the light of freedom and dignity for them and other peoples living under foreign occupation,” the Pakistani envoy declared.

At the outset, Ambassador Lodhi spoke of a growing tide of complex and interconnected challenges pushing the Middle East towards a vortex of violence and instability.

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Noting that the situation is clouded by the competing and divergent interests of the world’s major powers, with non-State actors exploiting that turmoil to gain a foothold in the region, she said the actions of such groups — including the PKK (Kurdish Workers’ Party) have created legitimate security concerns for State, underlining the need for reconciliation.

Opening the debate, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov told the 15-member Council that the occupation continues, and no progress has been made in realizing a negotiated two-state solution, describing the situation as a “multi-generational tragedy for the peoples of this land.”

Occupations in Palestinian areas continue, “and no progress has been made in realizing a negotiated two-State solution”, he reported during his quarterly update to the Council on the Middle East. “It is a multi-generational tragedy for the peoples of this land.”

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