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Jagdish Koonjul : Mauritius Already Recognised Palestine As A State

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From February 19 to 26, the International Court of Justice in The Hague will be holding hearings on the legal consequences of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories since 1967. An unprecedented 52 countries, including Mauritius, and 3 international organizations are called to testify.

Professor Pierre Klein and Ambassador Jagdish Koonjul, Mauritius’ Permanent Representative to the UN, gave testimony to the judges on Thursday night. Both of them emphasised the significance of this advisory opinion in allowing the Palestinian people to exercise their rights over their territory and restated Mauritius’ support for the establishment of a Palestinian state. The two Mauritius delegates compared the current request to the most recent advisory opinion on the right of the Chagos Archipelago to return to Mauritius that the International Court of Justice had published. They continued by saying that since talks to achieve a resolution on this matter are currently taking place between Mauritius and the United Kingdom, the 2019 advisory opinion had an instantaneous and beneficial effect.

The Mauritian ambassador to the United Nations was speaking in the wake of the request for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the legal consequences of Israel’s policies and practices in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.

In his speech, Jagdish Koonjul stressed that Mauritius considers that through the occupation of Palestinian territory, Israel has denied and continues to deny the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. He urged Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territory as soon as possible.

According to Koonjul, all states and the United Nations have a duty to ensure that Israel complies with its obligations to respect the rights of the Palestinian people and end its illegal occupation, so that the Palestinian people can exercise their right to an independent state of their own.

Mauritius, he added, has always supported the two-state solution. “We believe that the Palestinians should be able to live in freedom and in their own state. We also firmly believe that Palestine has what it takes to be recognised as a state. Mauritius has already recognised it as such,” insisted Jagdish Koonjul.

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