BRICS FMs: Mideast peace talks should lead to independent Palestinian State

Pretoria (UNA-OIC) � Foreign and international affairs ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (known as BRICS) stressed the need for Palestine-Israel peace negotiations that would lead to the establishment of a viable independent Palestinian State.

In a meeting held in Pretoria, South Africa on Tuesday, the ministers, in their final statement, expressed concern over the ongoing conflict and heightened tensions in the Middle-East region, especially with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian situation.

The Ministers reiterate the need for renewed diplomatic efforts to achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid Principles, the Arab Peace Initiative and previous agreements between the parties through negotiations with a view to create an independent, viable, territorially contiguous Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel. The Ministers reiterated that the status of Jerusalem is one of the final status issues to be defined in the context of negotiations between Israel and Palestine, read the statement.

The foreign ministers reiterated their countries’ support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) while commending the vital role it plays in providing health, education and other basic services for almost 5.3 million Palestinian refugees.”

They underscored its relevance to bringing stability to the region and the need for ensuring a more adequate, sufficient, predictable and sustained funding for the Agency.

It is noteworthy that the United States, the largest donor to UNRWA, slashed this year’s aid to the Agency to a great extent as part of a policy aimed at pressuring the Palestinians to enter into futile negotiations with Israel and to do away with the refugee issue, one of the more difficult issues in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, along with the issue of Jerusalem.

Source: International Islamic News Agency