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February 2, 2020

UN, EU, OIC take a firm stance against Trump ME Plan

The United Nations (UN) present and previous secretary generals have taken a strong position against President Trump Middle East Plan which sidelines UN Resolutions to resolve Palestine Israeli conflict stating “they (Resolutions) have not and will not resolve the conflict”. Whereas European Union and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have stressed on UN resolutions to resolve this conflict.

President Trump Peace Plan document mentions that there are 700 UN Resolutions in General Assembly and 100 Resolutions in UN Security Council on Palestine Conflict.

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, has reaffirmed that the solution to Palestine conflict lies in both sides living in peace as per borders settled on pre-1967 basis and as per UN Resolutions. Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General in his comment on President Trump Peace Plan stated that unilateral effort to redefine the status of Jerusalem in favor of one side is provocative and dangerous. Ban Ki-moon added that the absence of any credible plan for Gaza means a major element of the conflict is simply unaddressed. Ban Ki-moon reiterated UN Secretary General position that “ most logical and just solution is to provide two states for the two peoples, based on the internationally-recognised 1967 borders” He went to say that unilateral declarations that exclude and humiliate one party to the conflict are counter-productive.

The European Union High Representative/Vice President for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell stated that EU will review the proposal in light of its established position that Israel Palestine conflict should be resolved in accordance with UN Resolutions . German foreign minister Heiko added that Trump's proposal raised questions "about the involvement of the conflicting parties in a negotiation process and their relationship to recognised international parameters and legal positions."

The UN, EU and global reaction to President Trump Peace Plan is extremely important in context of President Trump offer to mediate in Kashmir crisis and US State Department stress bilateral talks between India and Pakistan. The solutions of Kashmir conflict as per UN Resolutions rarely finds mention in US State department response to Aug 5th annexation of Kashmir by India. India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesperson in reaction to President Trump peace plan presses on Israel and Palestine to resolve the issue through direct negotiations without any reference to UN Resolutions. It appears both USA and India have little faith in the instruments of United Nations to resolve conflicts.

Twelve senators of US Congress have written a letter to President Trump against his “one-sided Israeli Palestinian plan”. The Senators held that unilateral US endorsement of Israeli sovereignty throughout Jerusalem, over all Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley guarantees Palestinian rejection and paves the way for full or partial Israeli annexation of the West Bank. They add, “such a development would disregard international law, engender opposition from our allies, and undermine existing US policy regarding the unilateral annexation of Crimea, eastern Ukraine, northern Cyprus and elsewhere. It will also place allies like Jordan in an untenable position”.

The Organisation of Islamic countries has also issued a statement stating that the solution to Israel Palestine must be firmly anchored in International Law, the relevant UN Resolutions and the Arab Peace. The OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef Al Othaimeen stated that Holy City of Jerusalem remains conformably to UN Resolutions and international legitimacy, an integral part of Palestinian territory, occupied since 1967. He added that any alteration to the historical, legal or political status of Holy City of Jerusalem constitutes a violation of International law and conventions.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has vehemently criticized Trump peace plan at public forums. Turkish Foreign Ministry has stated, "This is an annexation plan aiming at usurping Palestinian lands and killing two-state solution," Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in his tweet remarked, "Vision for Peace" looks more like "Highway to Hell".

Pakistan foreign ministry reiterated,” We renew our call for a viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, pre-1967 borders, and with Al Quds Al Sharif as its borders.

In further reiteration of UN position on President Trump Mid East Plan, Michael Lynk, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory annexed since 1967 has called it “lop sided”. Mr Lynk added that the Trump plan would allow Israel to annex around 30 percent of the West Bank which is strictly prohibited by international law, beginning with the 1945 Charter of the United Nations," Lynk said. "Since 1967, the UN Security Council has proclaimed this fundamental principle on eight occasions, most recently in December 2016, when it reaffirmed: 'the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force.” Mr Lynk added "This unilateral act undermines the Palestinians' right to self-determination, and it threatens to drag the world back to darker times, when conquest was acceptable, borders could be redrawn and territorial integrity was regularly undermined,"

Mr Lynk elaborated that American plan would mean a scattered archipelagos of non-contiguous territory completely surrounded by Israel, with no external borders, no control over its airspace, no right to a military to defend its security, no geographic basis for a viable economy, no freedom of movement and with no ability to complain to international judicial forums against Israel or the United States.

Mr Lynk deplored the Trump plan's proposal to legalize the 240 Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. He added, "International law has expressly forbidden the transfer of the civilian population of an occupying power. The United Nations Security Council has condemned the Israeli settlements as a flagrant violation under international law, and the 1998 Rome Statute has deemed them to be purported war crimes."

The Trump plan's proposals for Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugees are equally distressing, said Lynk. "The United States now recognises the conquest and illegal annexation of East Jerusalem, which remains occupied territory under international law, as embedded in scores of United Nations resolutions."