BEIRUT: Prime Minister Najib Mikati urged the international community to accept Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ bid for Palestinian membership of the United Nations during his speech to the Security Council Tuesday.
"The Palestinian spring has begun,” the prime minister said as chair of the Security Council meeting to discuss the Middle East. “[I come here] appealing to the world to recognize the right of the Palestinian people to have an independent state similar to the rest of the world."
Turning to Lebanon, the prime minister said that a comprehensive peace plan between the country and Israel requires the complete withdrawal of Israel from Lebanese territories.
“As for Lebanon, a comprehensive peace plan requires the complete withdrawal from all occupied parts in the south especially in Shebaa farms, Kfarshouba, and the northern part of Ghajar,” Mikati said.
The prime minister reiterated Lebanon’s commitment to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 and urged the international community to force Israel to fulfill its obligations under the resolution.
“[Israel should] put an end to its land, air, and sea violations of Lebanon's sovereignty and [we should] move into a stage from complete cessation of hostilities to a comprehensive cease-fire.”
Mikati also said that a comprehensive peace plan for the Middle East should entail Israel’s withdrawal from Syrian and Palestinian territories, adding that the most dangerous threat to peace is the continued presence of Israel on Palestinian land.
“The most dangerous thing threatening the future of peace in Palestine is the Israeli violation of international resolutions regarding resettlements, forced immigration, destruction of homes and the occupying of land ... and this peace will not be achieved unless Israel withdraws completely from Syria's Golan Heights.”
Touching upon recent events in Syria the prime minister said Lebanon “would like to reaffirm its commitment toward the unity of [Syria's] territory and people and the security and safety of its people.”
“Lebanon reiterates its commitment to its right to demarcate its maritime borders and right to take advantage of its natural resources in its regional waters and in its special economic zone,” Mikati said referring to the dispute between Israel over an approximately 860 square kilometers that both countries had laid claims to.
Mikati also reiterated Lebanon’s commitment to international resolutions, in particular the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
Mikati traveled to New York Saturday and met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other officials on his four-day trip to the city.