Bahrain voices concern over altering Jerusalem’s identity

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister addressing the UNGA session
Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa voiced deep concerns over the ongoing violations of the sanctities in Jerusalem to change its identity.

Shaikh Khalid also called upon the international community to support Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas in his efforts to recover the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and ensure a just, ever-lasting and comprehensive peace in the region.

He also urged the UN to demand Israel to remove and stop building settlements on the Palestinian occupied lands, describing them as a threat to peace opportunities.

The Foreign Minister underscored the need to activate the resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council to stop the Israeli continuous violations.

He said Bahrain has faced, since last year, major security and stability challenges.

However, it has dealt with them with utter transparency, commitment and honesty by restoring security and stability, setting up Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) to reveal the truth and holding a comprehensive dialogue between all social components which resulted in a string of constitutional and legislative reforms covering all sides of political, economic, social and legal life.

Addressing the UN General Assembly (UNGA) annual session he added that in light of that experience His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa had the initiative to propose the establishment of an Arab Human Rights Tribunal that would lay the bases for a favourable climate to protect human rights and prevent their violation in the Arab World.

He pointed out, in this regard, the Arab League’s approval of the historic initiative, adding that legal procedures are being taken to turn it into a tangible reality soon.

The Foreign Minister stressed that in line with the ongoing efforts to build a pluralistic Bahraini society and assert Bahrain’s commitment to boosting and protecting human rights, the government turned up before the Human Rights Council, in Geneva, last week more than 90% of the council’s recommendations pertaining to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), including access to the optional protocol of the anti-torture agreement.

Concerning challenges facing the region, he explained that the GCC countries have realized the need to move towards more cohesion by adopting a proposal by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to switch from the cooperation phase to union in order to confront threats and challenges and build the needed personal capabilities to reach a united GCC community based on a common futuristic vision that copes with the fast-paced movement in the world.

Regarding relations between the GCC countries and Iran, the Foreign Minister said while the GCC countries are extending their hand to their neighbouring country-Iran, there is hardly any response that could help in building trust and anchor the pillars of security and stability. On the contrary, the GCC countries are facing continuous interferences in their domestic affairs, he added, criticizing Iran’s recent threats to the GCC countries slamming them as a breach of the principles of good neighbourliness which creates a state of tension and distrust in the region.

“More importantly than that, Bahrain reiterates anew the need to solve the issue of the three UAE islands (Greater and Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa), occupied by Iran, through direct negotiations or by referring it to the International Court of Justice,” he emphasized.

He also urged to take care of the Syrian crisis and examine the catastrophic and fast-paced developments there, demanding the international community and its affiliated bodies to rally ranks so as to put an end to the humanitarian suffering of the Syrian people and work out a political solution to the crisis in order to end violence and bloodshed, preserve Syria’s unity and cohesion among its people and spare the region ambient dangerous pitfalls.

He stressed the need for the UN to assume its responsibilities in protecting unarmed civilians and halting crimes against humanity.

He called to overcome the current geopolitical interests to achieve the most sublime goal which is protecting civilians in times of war or armed conflicts. He also voiced Bahrain’s welcoming of Al Akhdhar Al Ibrahimi’s appointment as a joint UN-Arab League Envoy to Syria, wishing him success in his duties to achieve the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.

“Palestine and the suffering of the Palestinian people have always been our main issue, as Arab countries and an international community. Bahrain deems it necessary to work seriously towards a just, permanent and comprehensive solution by establishing an independent Palestinian state with its capital East Jerusalem, as per the UN resolutions, the Arab peace initiative and the Quartet’s decisions,” the Foreign Minister said.

He also condemned the recent ugly acts defaming Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), pointing out the disgraceful movie, which was strongly denounced by Bahrain and resulted in violence and sabotage in many countries in the world.

The FM also condemned attacks on diplomatic missions, citing in particular the unjustified attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya, which claimed the lives of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and other diplomats.

The Foreign Minister described the attack as a blatant transgression of Vienna agreements for diplomatic relations, urging all to show reciprocal respect and intensify efforts to prevent repeat of such offences to religions, prophets and sanctities.

He also reiterated Bahrain’s unwavering stance to ensure a Middle East free of nuclear weapons, affirming the need for Israel and Iran to meet their international obligations in this regard and show utter and transparent cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Regarding developments in Yemen, the Foreign Minister underscored the need for the transitional phase to succeed to ensure security and stability in that country, hailing the steps taken by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to launch a national dialogue.

He also asserted Bahrain’s principled, constant supportive stance to Morocco, stressing the need to maintain Morocco’s territorial unity and solve the problem of the Moroccan desert according to the relevant UN Security Council’s resolutions.

He hailed electing Hassan Shaikh Mahmood as Somalia’s new president as part of the transitional process in the country, urging the international community to provide every support and assistance to ensure peace and security in it, maintain its territorial unity and political independence.

Concerning implementation of the millennium’s goals, he stressed Bahrain’s big strides in this regard, pointing out the need for international concerted efforts to reach set up objectives.

“Despite numerous challenges facing the world nowadays and the changes resulting from them, we still have a precious chance we will only be able to grab with wisdom, courage, patience and joint action,” the Foreign Minister said.

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