Mr. President,

We support the statement delivered by Azerbaijan on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

In this first 2021 open debate on the situation in the Middle East, we reiterate the condemnation of the attacks launched against Aden Airport, last December 30th, which resulted in the death of over thirty civilians and injures to dozens of other people. We express our heartfelt sympathies to the families and closed relatives of the victims.

We welcome the decision of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to normalize their relations.

Mr. President,

The pandemic has forced us to face a new reality which poses colossal challenges to health systems, economies and our societies at large. Its manifold effects call for joint actions that privilege cooperation and solidarity over political differences.

We reiterate our deep concern over the impact of Covid-19 on the countries of the Middle East and call for serious efforts to prevent any action that could lead to a sharper deterioration of stability and security in that region.

As the pandemic compounds the socio-economic and humanitarian situation of the Palestinian people, Israel continues its occupation, its policies of annexation, its escalation of the illegal and colonizing practices and measures, including the construction and expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, punitive demolitions, seizures of resources from Palestinian institutions, the forced displacement of hundreds of civilians and the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

It is disturbing that another year has ended without the Security Council taking action to end Israel's military aggression and occupation of the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, in accordance with its resolution 2334 (2016); while Israel, with impunity, is reinforcing its policy of illegal settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territory and threatens to annex the Palestinian territories of the Jordan Valley and other areas of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. We call, once again, on the Security Council to fulfill its responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security, and to call for Israel’s immediate and complete halt of all its colonizing policies and practices.

We reaffirm our unrestricted support for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which allows the Palestinian people to exercise their right to self-determination and to have an independent and sovereign state on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and which guarantees the right of return for the refugees.

We express our unwavering solidarity with the Palestinian people and government and our support for the admission of the State of Palestine as a full member of the United Nations. We also support the Palestinian President's initiative to hold an international peace conference.

We regret the precarious situation in which the Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East finds itself as a result of the withdrawal of the US financial support.

Mr. President,

The aggressive, unilateral and unjustified actions of the United States in the Middle East severely undermine the legitimate interests of the Arab and Islamic nations and lead to a dangerous escalation in the region.

We reiterate our rejection of the so-called "Deal of the Century", drawn up by the previous US administration, which ignores the two-State solution, which has been historically supported by the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the League of Arab States, the Organization for Islamic Cooperation and other international actors.

The unilateral decision of the United States government to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, to establish its diplomatic mission in that city, disrespecting its historical status, as well as recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Syrian Golan, constitute serious violations of the United Nations Charter, International Law and the relevant Security Council resolutions.

We call, once again, for the total and unconditional withdrawal of Israel from the Syrian Golan and from all occupied Arab territories.

Mr. President,

We ratify our full support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran and our rejection of the United States' withdrawal from the Agreement, as well as its attempts to ignore the validity of Resolution 2231, which endorsed the Plan.

We support the search for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the situation imposed on Syria, without foreign involvement and with full respect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We reaffirm our strongest condemnation of the US sanctions against Syria and the implementation of the "Caesar Act", which hampers the reconstruction of that country, even more in the complex scenario of the COVID-19, and blatantly violates the UN Charter, International Law and the human rights of the Syrian people.

It is inadmissible that some countries experience the application of unilateral coercive measures which violate the human rights of their peoples, International Law and the United Nations Charter. We call for the immediate and unconditional end to these arbitrary and illegal measures imposed against sovereign States. Their application in the current juncture creates additional difficulties to confront the pandemic in the countries against which they are enacted.

Mr. President,

The defense of the right to peace continues to be a paramount priority for Cuba. We support the urgent call of the United Nations Secretary General to put an end to armed conflicts, hostilities and the scourge of war and instead open up opportunities for diplomacy and cooperation. All wars, including unconventional wars and the so-called low-intensity warfare, must cease.

It is the duty of all States to uphold multilateralism and the purposes and principles of the Charter, including the respect for the sovereign equality of States and their political independence, unity and territorial integrity; the peaceful resolution of conflicts; non-interference in the internal affairs of States; and refraining from the use or threat of use of force in international relations.

Thank you very much.