Statement by H.E. Mr. Tsuneo Nishida
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At the Open Debate of the Security Council
On the Situation in the Middle East
24 January 2012
I thank you for giving me the opportunity to address the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East.
Japan fully understands the earnest aspiration of Palestinians to build their own State and strongly supports a two-State solution, under which Israel and a future independent Palestinian State would live side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition. Japan supports the vision that the borders under a two-State solution should be defined through negotiations, based on the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed swaps, in a way that will achieve the peaceful co-existence of a viable Palestinian State and Israel, with secure and recognized borders.
Such a two-State solution can only be achieved through sincere negotiations between the parties concerned. Japan firmly believes that both sides should make utmost efforts to conduct direct negotiations in line with the time frame set out by the Quartet. In this connection, Japan welcomes the meetings between Israel and the Palestinians held in Amman this month and pays deep respect to the efforts of Jordan and the Quartet in preparing for the meetings. Japan strongly expects that these meetings will lead to the early resumption of direct negotiations.
Japan does not recognize any measures that prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations, and calls upon both sides to refrain from any provocative actions, in order to build mutual trust. Both parties must abide by their obligations under previous agreements. Japan reiterates its strong call to Israel to immediately freeze its settlement activities in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, which are a violation of international law. At the same time, we call upon the Palestinian Authority to continue its efforts to improve security and fulfill its commitments to cease violence and work against incitement.
Japan has been supporting the efforts of the Palestinian Authority toward establishing statehood and is committed to continuously providing assistance in that regard. Japan is also keenly following Palestinian efforts to establish a unified government.
Japan shares the serious concerns of the international community over the situation in Syria. Japan supports the initiative of the League of Arab States to bring about stability in Syria and also hopes that the Security Council will act effectively. We deplore the continuing wide-scale use of force by the Syrian authorities in spite of the deployment of the monitoring mission of the League, and deem it important that the United Nations provide technical assistance to observers of the mission. Japan condemns the Syrian authorities for their use of force against civilians and reiterates its call to them to immediately halt such acts of violence, promptly carry out reforms and engage in dialogue with the Syrian people.
Egypt celebrates the first anniversary of the historic change tomorrow. Japan welcomes the fact that the elections for the People’s Assembly have been conducted without major disorder. We are also pleased that Japan was of assistance in the holding of elections by providing funding and sharing expertise. As the stability of Egypt is a linchpin to maintain that of the entire region, Japan hopes that the political process will develop in a peaceful manner and that the economic and social reforms will lead to tangible results at an early stage.
Thank you, Mr. President.