“Vietnam stands ready to join the international community’s efforts towards the peaceful settlement of Israel-Palestine and Arab-Israel conflicts, and the ultimate attainment of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East;” said the Vietnamese Ambassador to the UN.

Ambassador Le Luong Minh, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the Untied Nations made the affirmation at the Security Council Open Debate on “The Situation in the Middle East, Including the Palestinian Question” in New York on Oct. 14.

The Ambassador added that Vietnam continues to support Russia’s initiative to convene an international conference on the Middle East in Moscow before the end of this year.

The Ambassador welcomed efforts by the international community over past months towards the resumption of negotiations aimed at achieving a two-State solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. He noted that under difficult circumstances, the Palestinian National Authority has continued efforts to strengthen socio-economic sustainability, security sector reforms and functional institutions for a future State.

The Vietnamese diplomat, however, expressed his concerns that the peace process still remains loaded with persistent challenges. No substantive progress has been achieved in implementing Security Council Resolutions 1850 (2008) and 1860 (2009). Israeli military incursions, the construction of the Separation Wall, the expansion of settlements, and the blockade of Gaza have never ceased inflicting vast deprivations on the Palestinian civilian population. Sporadic rocket attacks have placed civilians in southern Israel under continual threat.

Ambassador Minh affirmed that constructive dialogue and political negotiations remain the only viable solution.

“It is essential in this context that all parties concerned should rise to shoulder their mutual obligations under the Road Map, the Madrid terms of reference, the Arab Peace Initiative and relevant Security Council resolutions,” he said.

He urged Israel to immediately halt illegal settlement activity, dismantle outposts erected since March 2001, open all border crossings, release all Palestinian prisoners, and ensure the unhindered access of humanitarian assistance.

He also urged Palestinian factions to set store by their long-term national interests, resolve their differences through reconciliation, and jointly work toward the establishment of a Government of national unity.

The Ambassador expressed his deep concern on the findings contained in the Report prepared by the Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict which was established by the Human Rights Council to the effect that Israel seriously violated international human rights and humanitarian laws during the conflict and failed to extend cooperation to the Mission as required, and that the rocket and mortar attacks caused loss of life and property damage to southern Israel’s communities.

He expressed his belief that it is legitimate that the Report receives due attention and consideration by relevant United Nations agencies and the parties involved. Given the extremely explosive nature of the regional situation and in the interest of peace and justice, he underlined that it is of the utmost imperative for all parties concerned to stop all acts of violence and strictly comply with international humanitarian and human rights laws, to ensure safety and security for all civilians, diplomats and United Nations facilities and personnel.

On the Lebanon situation, Ambassador Minh shared the concerns about the delay in the formation of a new Government in Lebanon after the parliamentary elections last June. He hoped that negotiations will soon conclude in the spirit of reconciliation and dialogue in order for the new Government to be formed, representing the interests of all communities in Lebanon .

At the same time, he welcomed efforts being made by the Lebanese authorities, in cooperation with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to defuse the tension kindled by the recent multiple security incidents in southern Lebanon . He urged Israel to cease flights over Lebanese territory and withdraw from the northern part of Ghajar village and an adjacent area north of the Blue Line. Minh reiterated Vietnam ’s support for UNIFIL and the full implementation of Resolution 1701 (2006)./.