Kuwait urges dialogue to end political standoff in Venezuela

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‘Exercise maximum restraint, avoid any acts that can escalate tension’

Permanent Representative of Kuwait to the UN Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi

NEW YORK, Jan 27, (KUNA): Kuwait Representative to the United Nations called on politicians in Venezuela to put the national interests of their country above those of their parties and engage in a peaceful, substantive and comprehensive dialogue to end the current crisis. Delivering his country’s address to an emergency session by the UN Security Council on Saturday, Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi urged all actors in the South American country to exercise maximum restraint and avoid any acts that could escalate the tension or reignite violence. While the Council members remained divided over the appropriate approach to addressing the volatile situation in Venezuela, he echoed the signifi cance of the call of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in this regard.

He underscored the need of commitment to the principles of the UN Charter relating to preservation of international peace and security and responding to challenges facing the world today. Article 34 of Chapter VI of the Charter empowers the Security Council to respond appropriately to any confl ict that might endanger the world peace he said, noting that the Council is, therefore, mandated to activate its preventive diplomacy to deescalate the tension.

Citing Article 24 of Chapter V of the Charter, Ambassador Al- Otaibi said the Security Council shoulders a primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security on behalf of the UN member states. “Since assuming its nonpermanent membership in the Council, the State of Kuwait has shown fi rm commitment to the principles of the international law, activation of preventive diplomacy and adoption of peaceful means to settle disputes,” he pointed out. “We have a strong belief that preventive diplomacy is a mainstay for nipping in the bud any crisis in order to avoid unnecessary human or material losses, not to mention the economic or political losses. “With great concern, we have followed up the developments of the situation in Venezuela and regretted the reports of civilian victims in the political protests there,” he stressed

“The State of Kuwait urges respect for the people’s right to the freedom of expression and the peaceful assembly pursuant to the provisions of the international law and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 1966. “The covenant commits its parties to respect civil and political rights, including, inter alia, the freedom of speech and freedom of assembly,” Ambassador Al-Otaibi went on. Some member states of the UN, such as Syria and Libya, have seen, in recent years, protests that were peaceful in the beginning but regrettably turned violent and left huge human loss and extensive material damage, he said, noting that “all of us are still concerned about how to address the tragic impacts of these confl icts.”

He called on the Security Council member states to double their efforts to prevent recurrence of such tragedies in any part of the world through strict commitment to the internationally- recognized principles and provisions of the UN Charter, including those relating to protection of sovereignty of the UN member states and non-interference in their domestic affairs. He voiced hope that Venezuela will be able to emerge peacefully from the current crisis, and ensure security, stability and prosperity to its people.

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