Sri Lanka has called on Israel to withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territory saying sustainable peace could only be obtained if Israel were to withdraw from the territories back to the 1967 borders and end the blockade, illegal expansion of settlements and the construction of the separation wall.
Sri Lanka's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York Bandula Jayasekara, speaking at the UN Security Council said his country believed that a resolution of the Palestinian conflict was crucial in restoring peace in the Middle East, and had therefore called on all sides to fully implement resolutions regarding both the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the two-State solution.
While the relaxation of restrictions regarding the economic blockade in the Occupied Palestinian Territory were noted, there were still deep concerns about the daily suffering and hardships the Palestinian people continued to endure while living under occupation, he said.
The Palestinian Authority, in honouring its obligations, needed to implement its security plan to ensure its territory was not used for illegal attacks on Israeli civilians. Allegations of illegal arms flows must be investigated. Both sides must do everything possible to ensure the safety and security of civilians, Jayasekara further added.
He noted that Sri Lanka supported the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as international efforts for early resumption of negotiations, and cited the unity of the Palestinian people as essential to the process for lasting peace.
He hoped both sides would ensure a climate conducive for the resumption of negotiations and regretted that the announcement of new settlement construction had resulted in a setback to the progress made.