Conakry Agreement remains key to G. Bissau stability: UN envoy
NEW YORK, Feb 17, (KUNA): Kuwait is leading efforts at the UNSC to highlight the Middle East’s most urging matters namely the Syrian crisis and Palestinian cause, said a senior Kuwaiti diplomat late Friday. Kuwait permanent delegate to the UN headquarters in New York and current chair of the UNSC this month, Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi told Arab journalists at the UN that Palestinian President Mahmouad Abbas, for the first time, would partake in the council’s meeting on the Palestinian situation on Feb 20.
The UNSC will also hold a similar meeting on Feb 22, which will feature a speech delivered on the behalf of former US president James “Jimmy” Carter. The Palestinian cause was always on the top list of priorities for the State of Kuwait, affirmed Ambassador Al-Otaibi who indicated that Kuwait’s leadership of the UNSC this month mainly focused on highlighting the situation in Palestine and specifically the catastrophic humanitarian state in the Gaza Strip. The numerous plights in the Gaza Strip and the dire situation there requires the world to continue assisting the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the Kuwaiti diplomat said.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Al-Otaibi touched on the Syrian crisis during his address to the journalists, noting that Kuwait had organized and co-organized conferences aimed at providing aid to the Syrian refugees since 2013. He affirmed that these events displayed Kuwait’s utter commitment to resolve the humanitarian situation in Syria. On the current status quo in Syria, the Kuwaiti diplomat said that there was a push on part of Kuwait to have the UNSC take considerable action to put an end to the brutal assault against innocent civilians in the war-torn country; however, the conflict amongst a number of Security Council members seems to derail these efforts. Ambassador Al-Otaibi affirmed that Kuwait will continue to support and backup efforts aimed at resolving the Syrian crisis in a peaceful manner. Al-Otaibi expressed regret over the failure of Guinea-Bissau’s national leaders to establish an inclusive government as per the provisions of Conakry Agreement. The agreement, reached on Oct 14, 2016, provides for, inter alia, the appointment of a consensual prime minister, conducting timely elections, and implementing the priority reforms. In his address to a UN Security Council session on peace and security in the country on Thursday, Ambassador Al-Otaibi said the situation in the West African country is different from other cases being examined by the UNSC in the sense that it is purely political remotely from any security dimensions.
Guinea-Bissau has been plagued by chronic political instability since gaining independence in 1974, he noted, adding that more than one year has passed since the signing of Conakry Agreement without making a breakthrough in the political crisis. Ambassador Al-Otaibi stressed the need of continued UN presence in order to help the political leaders of the country set the stage for parliamentary and presidential elections in 2018 and 2019 as planned.