JOHANNESBURG- The continuing Israel and Palestinian conflict featured prominently during a discussion of the Foreign Affairs/International Relations Ministers of BRICS, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) this week in Pretoria.
The ministers met on Monday ahead of the 10th BRICS Summit which will take place in South Africa in July.
“The Ministers expressed concern over the ongoing conflict and heightened tensions in the Middle-East region, especially with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian situation. The Ministers reiterate the need for renewed diplomatic efforts to achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid Principles, the Arab Peace Initiative and previous agreements between the parties through negotiations with a view to create an independent, viable, territorially contiguous Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel. The Ministers reiterated that the status of Jerusalem is one of the final status issues to be defined in the context of negotiations between Israel and Palestine,” Ministers said.
The remarks by BRICS ministers come after Israel soldiers were criticised for killing over 60 Palestinians including children during the demonstration against the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
Concerns about the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Yemen have also been expressed. The ministers urged all parties involved in the conflict to return to the brokered peace talks.
“The ongoing conflict in the Republic of Yemen is a further concern, having become a major humanitarian crisis. The Ministers urge all parties to fully respect international law to cease hostilities and to return to the UN-brokered peace talks, leading to an inclusive Yemeni-led dialogue towards the achievement of a political solution to the conflict.”