We, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam gathered in Kuala Lumpur for the 39th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM), taking cognizance of the deteriorating situation in the Middle East and having discussed the issue, wish to state the following:
We are gravely concerned over the deteriorating situation and the escalation of violence in the Middle East, particularly the disproportionate, indiscriminate and excessive use of force by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in Lebanon , triggered by the capture of the two Israeli soldiers. It will threaten efforts towards reviving the Peace Process.
We condemn all acts of terror, violence and destruction. We also condemn attacks that have resulted in injury and death of innocent civilians and the destruction of civilian property and infrastructure. We further condemn the abduction and detention of Cabinet Ministers, government officials, and other individuals and we call for their immediate and unconditional release.
We urge all parties to exercise utmost restraint, in particular to avoid additional casualties among innocent civilians and damage to civilian property and infrastructure and to refrain from acts that could further exacerbate the situation and worsen the humanitarian crisis.
We call for an immediate ceasefire and urge the international community and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to get all parties in the conflicts to adhere to the ceasefire under UN supervision with the participation of countries that are able to do so, and ultimately to work towards a just, durable and comprehensive peace in the region.
We reaffirm the call for the strict respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence of Lebanon under the sole and exclusive authority of the Government of Lebanon as stipulated in UNSC Resolution 1664 and 1680.
We also urge Israel and Palestine to return to the peace process and implementation of the Quartet Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict as outlined in UNSC Resolution 1515.
We welcome all efforts taken to address the situation, including the visits to the region by the Special Advisor of the UN Secretary-General to the Middle East and the UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, as well as the efforts undertaken by the Foreign Minister of France in that country’s capacity as current President of the United Nations Security Council. We view the visit by the U.S. Secretary of State to the region and Italy’s intention to host an international conference on 26 July 2006 as encouraging steps and hope that these would bring about the immediate cessation of hostilities, opening the way for the unimpeded flow of humanitarian relief and assistance to the civilians affected by the conflict, the early return of displaced persons and providing the conditions for a durable and lasting solution to the problems in the region. We also emphasize the need for speedy restoration of essential infrastructure facilities in Palestine and
Lebanon to avoid further deterioration of humanitarian condition of the Palestine and Lebanese people.