|Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, on Jan 15, 2024. — XINHUA/VNA Photo
NEW YORK — A Vietnamese diplomat has voiced deep concern over the continued complex developments in the Middle East, particularly the escalating conflicts in the Gaza Strip, stressing the urgency for an immediate ceasefire.
Minister Counsellor Nguyễn Hoàng Nguyên, Deputy Permanent Representative of Việt Nam to the United Nations, attended a ministerial-level open debate held by the UN Security Council in New York on January 24 (local time) to look into the Middle East situation, including the Palestinian question.
In his speech, Nguyên expressed serious concern over the continuation and spread of complex developments in the Middle East, particularly the escalating conflicts in the Gaza Strip that are causing heavy casualties, taking a substantial toll on civilian infrastructure and UN establishments, and triggering a severe humanitarian crisis. In addition, incidents in the Red Sea are raising global concerns, especially over navigation safety and freedom, and impacting the sovereignty of the affected countries.
He underscored the urgent need for an immediate ceasefire and appealed to the parties concerned to comply with international law, exercise maximum self-restraint, avoid any action that may cause tensions or violence, and create a favourable environment for peaceful dialogue.
The diplomat also called on the UN Security Council to further augment efforts to promptly resolve the crises.
He reaffirmed Việt Nam’s stance of consistently supporting the two-state solution with the establishment of an independent State of Palestine that peacefully exists alongside the State of Israel, and has the pre-1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital as in conformity with the UN’s relevant resolutions.
Addressing the event, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the risks of broader regional escalation are now becoming a reality, the humanitarian situation in Gaza is appalling, the entire population of Gaza is enduring destruction at a scale and speed without parallel in recent history, while the situation in the Red Sea is also deeply worrying and disrupting global trade.
He demanded an immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, urging all parties to refrain from aggressive rhetoric, immediately end activities that could further inflame tensions, and resume the delivery of essential supplies to civilians in Gaza.
The UN leader renewed his appeal for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and requested an immediate end to attacks against commercial vessels in the Red Sea.
At the debate, most countries also expressed concern over the risks of broader conflicts and an increasingly severe humanitarian crisis in the territory. They asked all the parties to exercise self-restraint, prevent tensions from escalating, and focus on improving the living conditions of Palestinians in Gaza.
Many held that the top priority now is to enforce an immediate and durable ceasefire through joint efforts of all regional and international partners, and step up urgent and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza. They also affirmed the importance of implementing the two related resolutions recently adopted by the UN Security Council and appealed for the early resumption of peace talks on the basis of the two-state solution. — VNS
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