Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations (Photo: VNA)

New York (VNA) – Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, has expressed Vietnam’s concern about the current Middle East situation and called on the UN Security Council to uphold its important role in encouraging the resumption of peace talks between the parties.

Nga was delivering a speech at the open debate of the UN Security Council under the agenda item “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” on April 26.

She noted that “Vietnam is deeply concerned about the recent report by the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process on the implementation of Resolution 2334, especially the lack of dialogue between the parties, the continuing illegal settlement expansion, the demonstrations and deadly clashes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the deteriorating humanitarian and economic situation in Gaza, growing incitement to violence, and the violation of rights and dignity of the Palestinian people. These negative developments imperiled the prospect of the two-state solution and put security of the whole region at stake.”

The ambassador said de-escalating tension on the ground is a pre-requisite for any future negotiation and dialogue. She urged all parties concerned to strictly comply with the UN Charter and international law, exercise maximum self-restraint, refrain from any provocative acts and foster a favourable environment for the pursuit of peace.

It is clear that foreign occupation is illegal under international law and constitutes an obstacle to peace, she said, calling on Israel to halt and reverse all settlement development, lift its blockade in the Gaza Strip and step up its efforts to protect the civilians and improve the living condition of the Palestinian population. 

Nga reaffirmed Vietnam’s unconditional support for the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people for their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination and establishment of an independent and sovereign state, as well as a two-state solution.

She also stressed the need for all parties to respect international humanitarian law, stop any act of hostility, incitement and violence, to ensure unimpeded access to humanitarian assistance. 

“In this regard, my delegation reaffirms our unwavering support to the indispensable role and tireless efforts of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to ease the sufferings of the Palestinians,” the diplomat added.

At the debate, Nikolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said since late March, tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have converged to the Gaza fence to protest the long-standing blockade of the enclave. During these demonstrations, 35 Palestinians have been killed.

He urged stepped-up efforts to support the parties in advancing a sustainable Israeli-Palestinian peace on the basis of the two-State solution.

Representatives of many countries at the debate also criticized Israel’s excessive use of force and requested Israel to immediately stop building settlement housing in the occupied land and activities violating international human rights and humanitarian law. 

They called on Israel to fully implement the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2334, urging the two sides to exercise self-restraint, end violence, soon resume peace talks and realise the two-state solution with Palestine co-existing peacefully as an independent country with Israel and having the borders that existed before 1967 and its capital East Jerusalem.-VNA