10-11 June 2008: PABSEC 31st Plenary Session

Speech of H.E. Prof. Dr. Mahmud Erol KILIC Secretary General of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC) At the Thirty-First Plenary Session  of the Parliamentary Assembly of Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC) Athens- GREECE  10-11 June 2008

Speech of H.E. Prof. Dr. Mahmud Erol KILIC Secretary General of the Parliamentary
Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC) At the Thirty-First Plenary Session  of the Parliamentary
Assembly of (PABSEC)Athens- GREECE  10-11 June 2008

Mr. Secretary General of PABSEC,
HONOURABLE Members of Parliament of PABSEC,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me at the outset to express my gratitude for the kind invitation which has availed the PUIC of the opportunity to participate in the proceedings of the Thirty-First Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of PABSEC. I would also like to pay tribute to the organizing body for the excellent arrangements and generous hospitality.
Mr. Chairman,
Your august Assembly is meeting at a critical time and circumstances during which our world is passing. This stresses the necessity of drawing up and crystallizing a clear-cut concept that helps us to confront the ever- growing challenges, especially in the Middle East. The latter is a region that is witnessing several burning problems which request the utmost level of wisdom in order to find comprehensive solutions for them.
The PUIC is of the view that solving burning issues in all parts of the world, particularly in the Middle East, will be forthcoming through serious dialogue, being the foremost civilized approach. Failure of this humanitarian endeavour means that the stage is set for criminals who are driven by lunatic conceptions to perpetrate the most heinous atrocities of which the human conscience is definitely ashamed.
Mr. Chairman,
Allow me to briefly address some of the prevailing problems in the Middle East region:
-          The Palestinian Cause and the Arab-Israeli Dispute:
Israeli aggressions and attacks on the unarmed Palestinian people continue unabated under the very eyes and ears of the entire world. They mainly target innocent women, children and the elderly as well as the economic and social infrastructures of the Palestinian people and their natural environment. This situation is further aggravated by the imposition of an unjust siege of the Gaza Strip which is in reality a collective punishment of the civilian population aimed to break the will of the people and sabotage their demand of their legitimate rights which are upheld by all international laws and conventions. This siege is also a serious violation of the International Humanitarian Law and is organized state terrorism. We call on the international community to pressure Israel to halt immediately this siege and the collective punishment. We draw the attention of the international community to the resolutions adopted by the Eleventh Islamic Summit Conference in Dakar which call for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in all the territories occupied in 1967, with Al Quds Al Sharif as its capital, this being a basic condition for restoring security to all the states in the Middle East region.
-          It is regrettable indeed that Iraq continues to suffer from the cycle of violence, daily explosions and terrorist activities that shed blood everywhere. We are of the view that there is an urgent need for action to strengthen the elected Iraqi government, support the ongoing political process, preserve the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Iraq as well as the identity of the Iraqi people, and seek to realize national reconciliation among all categories and sects. Furthermore, drawing up a time-table for the withdrawal of foreign forces has become an Iraqi demand worthy of due attention.
-          Concerning Lebanon, there is a necessity for action to help the Lebanese factions overcome the current domestic crisis through constructive dialogue that results in solutions acceptable to the Lebanese people, which also rally all sects, and points the way out of the current predicament and averts the dangers of foreign intervention by any state, whatsoever.
-          While stressing the right of all states to possess nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, in conformity with international conventions and the system of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), we reject the policies of double-standard and selectivity in addressing this issue. We also affirm the necessity of vacating the entire Middle East region of all weapons of mass destruction. The IAEA ought to indefatigably act in order to subject the Israeli nuclear facilities to the inspection and control system of the Agency in preparation for the elimination of Israel’s stockpile of these lethal weapons.
-          We reiterate that our conviction terrorism has no homeland, religion or nationality. It has no connection with Islam at all, in any form or manifestation. We see the imperative of combating terrorism globally which thus necessitates close and sincere cooperation between all the states of the world under the umbrella of the United Ntions. In this context it is important to distinguish between terrorism and resisting foreign occupation. The latter is a legitimate right of peoples for the liberation of their lands by all collective and individual means according to Article 51 of the UN Charter.
In conclusion, we aspire to further relations of active cooperation between the PUIC and PABSEC, wishing your meeting success and accomplishment. Thank You.

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