Islamabad: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has criticised illegal settlements by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories, saying it would affect the peace process.
Speaking at a ceremony in the port city of Karachi held to celebrate the upgrading of the Palestinian status to non-member observer state in the UN, Zardari said: “We strongly oppose all illegal settlements on occupied territories. We are deeply disappointed at Israel’s recent announcement of building new settlements in east Jerusalem.”
“Israel is unwilling to recognise the right of the Palestinian people to statehood. But this right cannot be denied for long.”
The Pakistani president also pointed out that the international community had openly denounced the building of new settlements.
These settlements, if allowed to continue, would ruin the peace process, he said.
Zardari said the non-member observer state status to Palestine in the UN was a historic occasion for the Muslim world and more so for the Palestinian people.
“We are convinced that peace in the Middle East cannot be achieved without giving the Palestine people their right. We support the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state,” said Pakistani president.