Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi put Palestine first in his speech about Egypt’s view of world affairs at the UN General Assembly in New York today: “I call for immediate movement, serious movement, as of now, to put an end to colonization and occupation activities and the denial of self-determination and the alteration of the identity of occupied Jerusalem. I call for a peace that would establish an independent Palestinian state, a sovereign Palestinian state, a peace that will achieve the security and stability long sught by the peoples of the region”.
Is it significant that he called for peace before the establishment of the independent + sovereign Palestinian state? Probably, yes… That would be consistent with the approach Egypt has taken since 1979, which Morsi did not repudiate before the UN General Assembly today.
Morsi said in his speech on Wednesday that “from the premise of defending truth, dignity and freedom, I place the international community before its responsibility which requires the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace, and the putting an and to all forms of occupation of Arab lands…”
He pledged Egypt’s full support for any step the Palestinians planned to take in the UN.
And, he urged other UN members to join him in supporting the Palestinian move: “I call upon you all, just as you supported the Arab revolutions, to lend your support to the Palestinians in their endeavor to regain full independent rights, and to support a people to gain its freedom and establish its independent state, an independent state of Palestine, based on the inalienable rights of the Palestinians”.
On Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama, who is running for re-election in about six weeks’ time, was one of the opening speakers at the opening session of the UN General Assembly’s high-level General Debate. Iran’s President Ahmadinejad spoke this morning. And Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is due to speak to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, apparently to modify the stalled “UN bid” he made with great fanfare a year ago, asking for full membership in the UN for the State of Palestine, which Israel opposed and the U.S. said it would veto.
Morsi said Egypt “will continue to work next to the Palestinian people, supporting them, until they get all their rights, until there is a free world for all the Palestinians and every constituent of the Palestinian people”.
He said “it is shameful that the free world accepts, regardless of justifications provided, that a member of the international community continues to deny the rights of a nation that has been longing for decades for independence”.