Thank you for organising this emergency meeting. I thank Mr. Khiari for his presentation and assessment of the situation.
During its mandate as an elected member, Switzerland will work to promote peace in the region, based on a two-state solution, negotiated by both sides in accordance with international law and internationally agreed parameters, including UN Security Council resolutions.
In line with this position, Switzerland stresses the need to preserve the historical status quo on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, including respecting Jordan's role as custodian over the Holy Sites. It welcomes Prime Minister Netanyahu's affirmation of this commitment on 3 January. Switzerland calls on all parties to demonstrate in practice their commitment in this regard.
In an already tense context, notably due to the record number of Palestinian civilian deaths last year and the deadly attacks in Israel, the visit of the new Israeli Minister of National Security to the Esplanade of the Mosques on Tuesday is cause for concern. Such unilateral actions threaten to disrupt the status quo on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif and thus destabilise the entire region.
We call on the leaders of all parties to avoid inflammatory or provocative language that could exacerbate the conflict and provoke further violence.
We are aware of the risk of escalation and the negative consequences this would have for peace and security in the region and beyond. We hope that this meeting will reaffirm the need to preserve the historic status quo and help prevent further tensions. Switzerland calls on all parties to respect international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights.
We also encourage the parties to address the root causes of the conflict and restore a political horizon for a negotiated two-state solution. Switzerland is at their disposal to facilitate the resumption of a credible dialogue in this sense.