Response of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Media Queries on the Resolution on the ‘Status of Jerusalem’ adopted at the tenth emergency special session of the UN General Assembly on 21 December 2017
Sri Lanka voted in favour of the resolution titled ‘Status of Jerusalem’ submitted by Yemen and Turkey in their capacity as Chair of the Arab Group and Chair of the Summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation, respectively, at the tenth emergency special session of the UN General Assembly, on 21 December 2017.
This vote in favour of the resolution was on the basis of Sri Lanka’s long held traditional and principled position, which is in keeping with the international understanding that Jerusalem is a final-status issue that must be resolved through negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both parties – Palestinians and Israelis, and that Jerusalem should be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian States. The resolution adopted at the tenth emergency special session of the UN General Assembly on 21 December 2017 reaffirms this position, and Sri Lanka’s vote in favour of the resolution was not a vote against any member State of the United Nations.
Sri Lanka stands by its position that it is only by realizing the vision of two States living side-by-side in peace, security and mutual recognition, with Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestine, with all matters resolved permanently through negotiations, that the legitimate aspirations of both parties and sustainable peace can be achieved.
Therefore, Sri Lanka strongly believes that all parties concerned should work with restraint, and focus on creating conditions for direct and meaningful negotiations that can resolve all final status issues required for a negotiated settlement.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
22 December 2017