We must bring what is happening in Belarus to the world’s attention and hear from those on the ground. Briefers on #BYHumanRights: UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Anaïs Marin; Belarusian opposition presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya; Vice-Chairman of the Viasna Human Rights Center, Valiantsin Stefanovic; Legal Expert for the Belarusian Association of Journalists, Volha Siakhovich. The meeting is chaired by Urmas Reinsalu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia. The meeting was initiated by Estonia and co-sponsored by UN Security Council members the United States and United Kingdom, as well as Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Ukraine.

Statement at the Security Council on Middle East Peace Process

Thank you, Mr. President,

I thank Secretary General Antonio Guterres for his statement. I also thank Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov for his briefing.

Estonia welcomes all efforts aimed at finding a peaceful resolution to the long-lasting Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We welcome the United States taking initiative aimed at reviving the peace process, which has been stalled for years. It is essential that the European Union and the United States work together as closely as possible on this complex global issue.

We call on Israel and Palestine to take steps towards resuming direct and meaningful negotiations to resolve all permanent status issues, including issues related to borders, the status of Jerusalem, security and the refugee question, with the aim of achieving a just and lasting peace.

Estonia’s position on the Middle East peace process remains unchanged. The only way to reach lasting peace is through direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine, taking into account the legitimate aspirations of both parties.

We remain committed to a negotiated two-State solution which meets Israeli and Palestinian security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood, based on 1967 lines, with equivalent land swaps, as may be agreed between the parties, and which respects the internationally agreed parameters and relevant UN resolutions.

Recognising that there are sensitivities related to several issues yet to be solved, we urge all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from any unilateral actions which could further aggravate the tensions and undermine the viability of the two-State solution. We are concerned by the continuation of Israel’s settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory, in violation of international law. Annexation of any parts of the West Bank would be in contravention with international law and relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

It is crucial that all parties refrain from acts of violence, terror and incitement. Escalation of violence would be negative for all sides and would further undermine the prospects for a resolution to the conflict. We also reiterate our commitment to the security of Israel.

I thank you!