At the outset, I would like thank you for convening this Open Debate.
Ukraine associates itself with the statement made by the representative of the European Union.
Our country is committed to a balanced and impartial position on the Middle East peace process, willing to develop stable and constructive relations with both Israel and Arab states.
On the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian settlement Ukraine supports the principle of coexistence side by side in peace and security of Israel and Arab states.
We support the Middle East peace process and believe that peace in the region can be achieved only if viable mutual concessions are made at the negotiating table.
Unfortunately, currently we observe the deterioration of the situation in the West Bank, in East Jerusalem, where tensions continue to rise.
Ukraine is deeply concerned by a long-lasting worsening of the situation around the Al-Aqsa Mosque. We call on all parties to show restraint and moderation on this issue. We believe that it is important to avoid any provocations that can lead to further confrontations in a very tense regional context.
It is important for both parties to find courage to respect the holy places in accordance with the principles specified in the fundamental international documents, particularly those of the UNESCO, and the agreements that regulate the status of the Temple Mount complex.
We believe that direct negotiations between the parties are the only way towards a peaceful solution, and any unilateral steps will not solve the key problems of the peace settlement.
The strategic outcome of the direct negotiations is to create two states that will coexist in peace and security, based on the expectations of the international community for a stable, democratic and prosperous Middle East.
Ukraine reiterates its position that the Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement lays within the framework of the unconditional fulfillment by the parties of the conflict of relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Madrid principles, including land for peace, the agreements previously reached by the parties and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.
As regards the situation in Syria, Ukraine reaffirms its commitment to the universal principles and basic norms of international law and advocates strict respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria.
Ukraine strongly condemns the ongoing violence and systematic violations of human rights in Syria.
We consider that the Syrian government bears a full share of responsibility for the country’s present condition and sufferings of its people caused by the bloody conflict.
Fighting between government forces, non-state armed groups and listed terrorist groups continues to result in death, injury and displacement of civilians as well as destruction of property and infrastructure. Parties to the conflict continue to disregard their obligations under international humanitarian law, specifically regarding the protection of civilians.
Ukraine stands for an immediate end to the bloodshed and calls to maximize the use of political and diplomatic means to resolve the conflict.
In expressing solidarity with the international community on the urgent need to eliminate ISIL as a global threat, Ukraine believes that sustainable peace and stability in the region can be achieved only through a political process aimed at establishing a Syrian national unity government, restoring sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria.
Ukraine is concerned over Russia’s latest aggressive movements in the Middle East, in particular in Syria.
While using the slogan of confronting international terrorism as a cover, the Kremlin is yet again carrying out its policy of breeding and exploiting instability along with backing of antidemocratic regimes.
In the light of Russia’s continuing military aggression against Ukraine, which is accompanied by direct support and funding of terrorism in Ukraine’s Donbas region, Moscow’s declared goal of fighting terrorism in Syria appears especially disingenuous.
The attacks by the Russian Air Force in Syria, which led to civilian deaths and did not cause a substantial damage to ISIL, raise serious doubts over Russia’s ability to play a constructive role in the Syrian crisis settlement process.
I thank you.