Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid announced Sunday that Maldives would extend its full support to Palestine during the upcoming 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, and will vote accordingly on a number of resolutions articulating this support.
Foreign Minister Shahid announced Maldives' decision in his statement delivered at the Emergency Foreign Ministerial Conference of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which was held Sunday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
With his statement, the Foreign Minister declared that Maldives stands in solidarity with other Member States of the OIC in strongly condemning the recent announcement made by the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu concerning his intention to annex the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea in the Occupied Palestinian Territories of West Bank, in the event that he wins the upcoming elections in Israel.
Minister Shahid also reiterated Maldives' strong support for Palestinian statehood, to realise the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and oppose any illegal settlement activity that takes place in the occupied territories, as well as to move country’s diplomatic posts to the Holy City of Jerusalem.
The Maldivian government issued an official statement on September 11 denouncing all attempts to annex any part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories as a grave violation of international law including the Geneva Conventions, criticising such intentions as deterrents to meaningful dialogue and detrimental to realising lasting peace in the Middle East.
Assessing the annexation of the Jordan Valley to constitute a severe blow to the viability of an independent Palestine as it would effectively leave Israel encircling any Palestinian political entity that emerges, Maldives called upon the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the international community to condemn and take immediate action against Israel's blatant violation and disregard of international law.
The OIC meeting was held upon request by Saudi Arabia, to address the Israeli escalations and take urgent political and legal steps to face up to the aggressive Israeli stand. The meeting further aimed to rally the Islamic countries’ efforts through an emergency action plan in the face of this aggressive declaration and to confront it through all possible courses.
Recalling Maldives' historic support for Palestine, Shahid declared in the meeting that the commitment of Maldives to the Palestinian cause is unshakable.
"Maldives reiterates its support for an independent and sovereign state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital and for Palestinian brothers and sisters to be able live in peace and exercise sovereignty, free from occupation and intimidation".
Over 60,000 Palestinians presently reside in the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea in the Occupied Palestinian Territories of West Bank.
During the televised news conference, Netanyahu disclosed his annexation plan implying that it would be possible due to support from the United States of America, which is also due to publicise its Israel-Palestine peace plan shortly after the Israeli election.