Thank you, Madam President.

We welcome the swift convening of the Security Council, and thank Secretary-General Guterres for his statement detailing the latest events and underlining our common responsibility.

Switzerland firmly condemns the coordinated attacks by Iran on targets in Israel last night.

These attacks are part of a spiral of violence already dangerously underway in the region – as we also saw with the air strike against Iran's consulate in Damascus on April 1 – an attack that Switzerland also condemned. Each of these attacks increases the risk of further escalation in the region.

We also note with concern the seizure of a Portuguese-flagged ship, the MSC Aries, by Iranian armed forces in the Strait of Hormuz.

We have repeatedly warned against the risk of accelerating the spiral of violence in the region. It is imperative that all parties in the region, and those with influence over them, exercise the utmost restraint to avoid further endangering the people of the region. We call on all parties to an armed conflict to respect their obligations to protect civilian populations and infrastructures.

We repeat once again our appeal: the spiral of escalation must stop immediately. The region must not be plunged into an even wider and deadlier conflict, at a time when we are facing a catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza, and when tensions and exchanges of fire at the Blue Line between southern Lebanon and Israel are at an all-time high. We call for full respect and support for the UNIFIL mission and other UN missions in the region.

De-escalation must be our absolute priority. This includes the implementation of Resolution 2728. An immediate ceasefire in Gaza is urgent, as is the cessation of attacks by armed groups in the region.

We take note of the declaration by the Iranian authorities that they do not wish to continue their operation. We recall, in this context, that any recourse to the use of force must be in strict conformity with the Charter, and that international humanitarian law must be respected by all parties.

In such situations, dialogue is essential. This Council and all States must play their full part in facilitating de-escalation. To this end, Switzerland is ready to make its contribution.

Thank you.

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