Jerusalem issue must be resolved - FM

Following the near-unanimous vote on Thursday by the United Nations General Assembly to declare prior unilateral US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as “null and void,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sri Lanka released a statement explaining the country’s vote.

“This vote in favour of the resolution was on the basis of Sri Lanka’s long held traditional and principled position, which is in keeping with the international understanding that Jerusalem in a final-status issue that must be resolved through negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both parties - Palestinians and Israelis, and that Jerusalem should be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states.”

The statement continued, qualifying that Sri Lanka’s vote was not one against the United States or Israel.

“The resolution adopted at the 10th emergency special session of the UN General Assembly on December 21,2017 reaffirms this position, and Sri Lanka’s vote in favour of the resolution was not a vote against any member State of the United Nations.”

The MFA then reaffirmed its commitment to a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine—in which the countries live side by side in peace, security, and mutual recognition, with Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and Palestine, and with all matters resolved permanently through negotiations.

Concluding its statement, the MFA encouraged all parties concerned to “work with restraint, and focus on creating conditions for direct and meaningful negotiations that can resolve all final status issues required for a negotiated settlement.”

“Every country in South Asia voted in favour of declaring unilateral US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital to be “null and void,” barring Bhutan, which abstained from the vote. 



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