Press Statement by Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry
Washington: In December 2017, the Government and people of Pakistan had noted with grave concern the United States’ decision to move its embassy to Al-Quds Al-Sharif (the Holy City of Jerusalem). Pakistan contended that the decision was a violation of international UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions calling for the establishment of an independent Palestinian State, and specifically Resolutions 476 and 478,that expressly forbid any administrative measures aimed at altering the character or legal status of the Al-Quds. It may be recalled that both Houses of Parliament of Pakistan later also condemned the U.S. decision to shift its embassy to Al-Quds.
Pakistan strongly condemned the unprovoked violence unleashed by Israeli forces on 14 May 2018 against unarmed Palestinians in Gaza who were peacefully protesting the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Al-Quds. Pakistan called on the United Nations and the international community to investigate and bring to an end the use of force by Israeli forces, which claimed the lives of at least 60 Palestinians – women and children among them – and left another 2,700 Palestinians with gunshot wounds.
Subsequently, the Prime Minister of Pakistan led the Pakistan delegation at the 7th Extraordinary Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) convened in Istanbul, Turkey, on 18 May 2018 in the aftermath of blatant human rights violations committed by the occupying Israeli forces in Gaza. In his statement, the Prime Minister regretted that the United States “did not heed the universal calls for rescinding its decisions about recognizing Jerusalem as the so-called capital of Israel, and relocation of its Embassy to the Holy City.” He noted that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the “deliberate Israeli defiance of international law and norms” and reiterated Pakistan’s “full solidarity with the Palestinian people in the face of unbridled tyranny.”
In the communiqué issued at the end of the Extraordinary Summit on 18 May 2018, the OIC condemned the Israeli atrocities in Gaza. It also called on the international community, in particular the UN Security Council, to uphold its legal obligations to defend the international law and order as they relate to Palestine. It also demanded that the United States adhere to the international resolutions on the status of the city of Al-Quds, which represents an integral part of the Palestinian Territory occupied in 1967. It also urged the U.S to stand against the Israeli colonial occupation and to be impartial in achieving the comprehensive peace based on relevant UN resolutions.
For its part, Pakistan would continue to support the establishment of a viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine, on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders, and with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. We would also continue to voice our concerns and amplify Pakistan’s longstanding and principled position on this important issue during contacts with different segments of US polity in this capital.
May 19, 2018.