September 27, 2023
I thank the Special Coordinator for his update.
We just left behind an unusual busy High-Level Week where a special focus was placed on renewed efforts for conflict resolution worldwide, including the Israeli-Palestinian question.
We noticed, without surprise, a strong support from world leaders for the two-state solution.
The “Two states for two peoples” highlighted so many times, translates the great need and the urgency for the perspective for peace to be restored as soon as possible.
In this respect, we feel encouraged by the regional and interregional peace efforts. We commend the Ministerial Meeting on the Peace Day Effort of 18 September hosted by the European Union, Saudi Arabia, the League of Arab States in cooperation with Egypt and Jordan and the efforts to produce a “Peace Supporting Package”. Parties must see such efforts as a genuine contribution to revive the peace process and they must do their part, refrain from unilateral steps, focus on de-escalation and steps that could ease an already high-tensioned situation.
The last two years have recorded an unacceptable high death toll for civilians on both sides. It cannot become the new normal.
We condemn in the strongest terms all terrorist attacks and stand with Israel in their right to self-defense from such acts through a proportionate response.
Terrorism cannot serve any cause; it cannot be condoned and it should never be glorified and terrorists cannot be retributed. Terrorism must only be condemned and by all.
We are also deeply worried by the extremist settler violence against Palestinian civilians, by demolitions and eviction, including destruction of homes, donor founded objects, including schools. We call for all the cases to be fully investigated, and the perpetrators must be held accountable.
International Humanitarian Law must be fully observed. Laws and rules have been established to protect civilians and their implementation is not optional; it is mandatory.
In this respect, we call for the implementation of the UNSCR 2334 and reiterate our position that settlements and their expansion are illegal under international law and an impediment to the peace process.
We will continue to stand firmly against hate speech, inflammatory rhetoric and incitement to violence. No one must be allowed to use historical distortion including denial of Holocaust for political gains. Such rhetoric which exacerbates tensions on the ground, is an insult to millions of victims of the Holocaust and to the lessons learned from the dark hours of history.
Communication at any level, but particularly at high level by political leaders, cannot become a competition of hate.
Such behaviors will lead nowhere except to more divide, more violence and confrontation.
What is needed is diplomacy, negotiations and cooperation, mutual understanding and trust to pave the way for a future where peace and prosperity do not remain a dream but become a reality for all.
As a strong supporter of the freedom of religion and belief, Albania supports the historic status quo of the holy sites in Jerusalem. We praise the special role of the Jordan custodianship and call on the parties to refrain from all the provocative actions.
We profoundly believe that achieving a just and lasting solution requires continued and dedicated efforts and unwavering commitment from all parties, Israel and Palestine but also neighboring states and the international community.
Therefore, we call on the parties to abide by their commitments in Aqaba, Jordan and Sharm El Sheikh, and seek opportunities for cooperation within all the regional platforms, the Negev Forum included.
Peace never comes from outside; help and support do.
Peace never falls from the sky, it is the fruit of genuine, continued, relentless efforts, even when the horizon is blurred like now.
Oslo must not remain a moment in history but rather the convincing proof that dialogue and compromise are possible, that peace is possible; that another future is possible.
Therefore, it is first up to both sides to engage into genuine efforts towards the creation of an atmosphere conducive to establish a robust process that will lead to the creation of a viable and democratic Palestine along a secure Israel, with secure borders and sharing Jerusalem as capital, living side by side as two states for two people, fully entitled to equal safety, security and prosperity.