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"Mr. President,

On this special occasion when we celebrate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Brazil reaffirms its full support for and commitment to the Palestinian people`s right to self-determination and to a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

Brazil firmly supports the legitimate aspiration of the Palestinian people for a sovereign, independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian State, on the basis of the 1967 borders, living side by side in peace and security with the State of Israel.

Mr. President,

Sixty-five years ago, on 29 November 1947, the United Nations took a historic decision. The General Assembly, presided over by Ambassador Oswaldo Aranha, approved the creation of two independent States in the Middle East.

However, to this day, the unresolved question of Palestine remains one of the most important threats to international peace and security. As President Dilma Rousseff stated in her address at the opening of the 67th General Assembly last September, only a free and sovereign Palestine can fulfill Israel`s legitimate desires for peace with its neighbors, security in its borders, and regional political stability.

A Palestinian State has become even more urgent in light of the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. This illegal practice remains a serious obstacle to peace in the region and to the realization of the two-State solution. Freezing settlement construction is, however, not enough. Occupation must end.

The establishment of the Palestinian State is also the right response to the violence that has shortened the lives of thousands of innocent civilians – in particular in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The recent escalation of violence in Gaza is yet another reminder of the high human and political costs of the paralysis of the peace process.

Brazil firmly rejects extremism and all forms of violence against the civilian population. We call upon all actors to fully commit to non-violence, dialogue and effective negotiations. We recall that all parties to the conflict have obligations under international humanitarian law and must fully abide by them. We also insist on the need to lift the Gaza blockade.

Mr. President,

Brazil reiterates its call for the Security Council to fully carry out its responsibilities. The promotion of peace in the Middle East is in the interest of all members of the United Nations and cannot be delegated to third parties. An inoperative Quartet and a silent Security Council do not serve the interests of peace in the Middle East.

Turning to the UN, as President Abbas is doing today, is part of a peaceful and multilateral approach, one that is fully consistent with Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.

Mr. President,

In light of the current obstacles to the immediate admission of Palestine as a full member of the United Nations, we supported, as an interim measure, that Palestine be accorded Observer State status in the United Nations. We express our great satisfaction at the unequivocal show of support this request received from the international community.

Thank you very much."

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