|HAND IN HAND: Hanoian students dance at the event. VNS Photo Lê Hương|
HÀ NỘI – A solemn ceremony was held in Hà Nội yesterday to celebrate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The event was co-hosted by the Việt Nam Union of Friendship Organisations and the Palestinian embassy in Hà Nội, which gathered representatives from the United Nations, the Việt Nam's Committee for Solidarity with the Palestinian People, various embassies in Hà Nội and friends of Palestinian people.
In his message to the event and Palestinian people, President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc shared his sympathy with the Palestinian people.
"We express our empathy with the Palestinian people on the losses in life and property that they have been suffering. Against such a backdrop, Việt Nam highly appreciates the active contributions made by the international community and the UN agencies, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). We call on international partners to increase assistance to the Palestinian people to help them overcome this trying time," he wrote.
"Việt Nam has been pursuing the consistent position that the Palestine issue should be settled by peaceful means based on respect for international law and relevant UN resolutions, ensuring the legitimate interest of relevant parties, particularly the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people," he continued. "These include the right to establish an independent and sovereign Palestinian State, coexist peacefully with the State of Israel within the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital."
He stressed that the Vietnamese people support the righteous struggle of the people of Palestine for independence and freedom.
"Việt Nam supports all initiatives and efforts to peacefully resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict in accordance with international law, for peace, stability and cooperation in the region and the world. We remain committed to working closely with the UN member states to achieve this goal," he wrote.
In her speech at the event, Pauline Tamesis, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Việt Nam, expressed her sadness over the growing number of Palestinian civilians who have lost their lives in the spiral of violence engulfing the occupied West Bank.
"Each casualty fuels fear and yet more violence. I urge all parties to take immediate steps to reduce tensions and break this deadly cycle," she said.
"The long-standing drivers of conflict – including the ongoing occupation, settlement expansion, home demolitions and evictions – heighten anger, despair, and hopelessness."
"UNRWA remains a vital lifeline for Palestine refugees," she said. "I commend the donors for their support and urge all to step up and provide predictable and sufficient funding to enable UNRWA to fully deliver on its mandate.
"The United Nations' position is clear: peace must advance – the occupation must end."
Tamesis said the UN is steadfast in their commitment to realising the vision of two States – Israel and Palestine – living side by side in peace and security, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States.
"Together, let us reaffirm our support to the Palestinian people in their quest to achieve their inalienable rights and build a future of peace, justice, security, and dignity for all," she stressed.
For his part Saadi Salama, Palestinian ambassador to Việt Nam, confirmed the Palestinian challenge is greater than ever. "However, they will not tolerate oppression and injustice and will continue to pursue their struggle against the colonial occupation of our land and people," he said.
"We will not abandon the culture of peace deeply rooted within us and continue to pursue peaceful popular resistance. We will not accept a future of walls, blockade, apartheid, oppression, hatred and colonialism."
"For Palestine, Việt Nam has become a symbol of the struggling spirit for the national sacred peace. In both wartime and peacetime, Việt Nam always stood by the Palestinian people and consistently supported our just cause, which has become a strong motivation for the two countries and people," he said.
"The victories of Việt Nam over the years bring in not only invaluable lessons but also inspiration and an enormous encouragement for our people to continue its enduring and arduous struggle for national independence and freedom."
An exhibition on Jerusalem was opened at the event, which features many ancient heritage sites. VNS