VETERAN politician Vernon Mwaanga has said the decision by Government to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel should be commended because it is consistent with the United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution 242 of 1967.
Dr Mwaanga said Government should be commended for establishing full diplomatic relations with Israel, stating that successive governments had been working at recognizing the right of Israel to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries with its Arab neighbours. Dr Mwaanga said in a statement yesterday that it was equally important to recognize the right of the Palestinian people to have their own independent and sovereign State, where they could live peacefully within secure and recognized boundaries.
He said unless Palestine was recognized as an independent State, the conflicts in the Middle Easr would continue to bedevil the world. He stated that the Middle East problem was one of the oldest human conflicts in the history of the world adding that the Holy City of Jerusalem should continue to accommodate and respect the multi-religious diversity of all the people.
Dr Mwaanga said a two-state between the Israelis and Palestinians was desirable and that was why the Vatican, which he said had been cautious in foreign policy matters had recently recognized the State of Palestine.
He said the world must recognize that the problem between Israel and Arab countries was not a military one but a political one which could only be resolved through negotiated settlement and not through wars fought by opposing armies or by domination of one country by the other.
“The decision by the Government of Zambia to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel must be commended because the decision is correct and consistent with the United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution 242 of 1967 and also with previous decision taken by successive governments. It is necessary to recognize the right of Israel to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries with its Arab neighbours,” Dr Mwaanga said.
The veteran politician stated that it was imperative that the initiatives being undertaken by United States of America Secretary of State John Kerry and the European Union should be supported so that the world should not witness another destruction of Gaza Israel.
He explained that the destruction of Gaza brought about untold human suffering which he said had threatened the peace and stability of the already fragile Middle Eastern region.
Dr Mwaanga said the Middle East had had more than its fair share of conflicts in the recent past cautioning that unless both the Israel and the Arabs embraced the spirit of genuine and meaningful dialogue mutual respect and tolerance, peace would remain a painful illusion and a bridge too far.