Source: China State Council Information Office
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday regretted Washington’s announcement that Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory will no longer be considered illegal.
“We regret the decision and the announcement made by the United States,” said Stephane Dujarric, Guterres’ spokesman, in response to a question whether the secretary-general was concerned about Washington’s disregard for relevant Security Council resolutions and its “a-la-carte” treatment of international law.
The UN position concerning Israeli settlements remains unchanged, said Dujarric.
“As far as we are concerned, we remain guided by relevant Security Council resolutions. We remain committed to supporting the Palestinians and Israelis to achieve lasting and durable peace based on those resolutions,” he told a daily press briefing.
Security Council Resolution 2334 states that Israeli settlement activities are a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace, he said. “And that remains the secretary-general’s position.”
“It was our position yesterday. It was our position today, and it will remain our position,” he stressed.
“We very much regret the announcement made (by the United States) — and obviously not only the announcement, but the substance of the announcement. But for us, our own position — the way we view it — remains unchanged.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday that Washington will no longer consider Israel’s West Bank settlements inconsistent with international law, in a reversal to the Obama administration’s position on the issue.
UN Security Council Resolution 2334 of December 2016, which deals with Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, demands Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities.
The resolution was adopted 14-0 while the United States abstained.
The resolution underlines that the Security Council will not recognize any changes to the June 4, 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations. It calls on all states to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.