Minister Fajon at the UN Security Council: “It is time for a ceasefire in the Middle East”

For the first time since Slovenia became a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Tanja Fajon participated in the ministerial meeting of the UNSC in New York on the situation in the Middle East. In her address, she called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and in the region, outlining the reasons why it is so important.

“With a ceasefire I mean a process starting with the cessation of hostilities respected by all parties to the conflict, leading to an independent Palestinian state, a safe and secure Israel, a peaceful region and people of all countries in the region living free of the fear of terror,” said Minister Tanja Fajon in her address, adding: “My message today is clear – only a ceasefire in Gaza and in the region will bring protection of civilians. Over 100 days of the conflict have led to too many civilian casualties on all sides. The vast majority of those killed in Gaza are women and children. Civilians in Gaza are facing relentless attacks coupled with starvation, overcrowded and unsafe shelters, destroyed civilian infrastructure, a collapsed health system and the impossibility of accessing other basic services. Only a ceasefire will enable the delivery of humanitarian assistance on the scale required, provide for creating the conditions for the safe return of displaced people, prevent the proliferation of extremism and extremist ideologies. The ceasefire is crucial for bringing the conditions for peace, enabling accountability and the reconstruction of Gaza, and preventing further regional escalation,” explained Minister Fajon.

“Let me be clear – Slovenia rejects and condemns the recent statements by the Israeli authorities proposing a massive relocation of Palestinians from Gaza. At the same time, we are concerned about the conditions in which the people of Gaza live, from malnutrition, the lack of drinking water and other basic needs to the spread of disease and unsafe shelters. Houses and neighborhoods have turned to rubble, and people are forced to flee time and again. We must therefore urgently create the conditions for the safe return of people, both in Gaza, in the West Bank and in Israel and Lebanon,” continued the minister.

“As I have stated on several occasions, Slovenia condemns all forms of terror. This is why we strongly condemned the Hamas terrorist attacks of 7 October and their continuing attacks on Israel. I reiterate the call for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. The current hostilities and decades-long tensions are not providing either peace or security for anyone in the region. Therefore, I repeat my call to start preparing an international peace conference to address the two-state solution in a comprehensive manner. I am afraid this conflict has already served as a pretext to generate further escalation in the region, in the West Bank, along the Blue Line, in the Red Sea and elsewhere. Tensions are mounting, and we will soon reach the point of no return,” said Minister Fajon.

“26,000 victims, Palestinian and Israeli alike, are not statistics; each of them had a life, family, dreams, hopes and plans. The best way for us to show respect for those who lost their lives in this conflict is to pave the way for peace,” concluded the Slovenian foreign minister.

Link to the full address by Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Tanja Fajon

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