United Nations, Apr 1: Attending the Summit of the League of Arab States in Tunis, Tunisia, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, recognised the critical importance of the region on the international stage and called for even stronger cooperation between the UN and the Arab States.
The UN chief then spoke of four specific issues in the region that could benefit from a comprehensive regional approach, starting with the imperative for a two-State solution, for Israel and Palestine, “living side by side in peace within secure and recognised borders, and with Jerusalem (Al-Quds) as capital of both States”. “There is no Plan B: without two states, there is no solution,” he stressed, noting that the ongoing violence in Gaza is a tragic reminder of the fragility of the situation.
The second specific issue the UN chief mentioned is the conflict in Yemen: “, Following last December’s breakthrough in Stockholm, we continue to work closely with the parties to achieve progress towards the redeployment of forces in Hudaydah and the opening of humanitarian corridors on the way to a political solution for Yemen.”
Third, regarding the eight-year long conflict in Libya, he hailed the recent progress towards building political consensus for convening the National Conference. “I am hopeful that further progress can be achieved with a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned political process with the support of the international community within the framework of the UN Action Plan,” noting it is “high time that Libya achieves unified institutions and concludes the transitional stages with general elections.”
Finally, he mentioned that, as “millions of Syrians remain displaced and in need, and tens of thousands are arbitrarily detained…we must keep working to forge a political path to a sustainable peace in which all Syrians are heard, grievances are addressed, and needs are met.”
“Any resolution of the Syrian conflict must guarantee the unity, the territorial integrity of Syria, including the occupied Golan,” he stressed.
“The Arab Region and its people have made enormous sacrifices to fight terrorism - and have paid the highest price for this,” said the UN Secretary-General, assuring that “the United Nations is stepping up support for the efforts of the Arab States in this struggle.”
He announced that the UN will soon open a new Liaison Office to the League of Arab States in Cairo to work together on important matters such as improving the living conditions for Iraqis, and support stability in Lebanon.
“Let us work ever closer together to unleash the full potential of this vital region, respond to the aspirations of youth and build a better future for all,” the UN chief concluded. (UNI)