The UK is deeply concerned about the potential for escalation in the Middle East and calls on all parties to reduce tensions: UK statement at the UN Security Council

Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki at the UN Security Council meeting on the strike in Damascus.

James Kariuki

Thank you, President, and I congratulate Malta on assuming the presidency for the month of April and thank Japan for their successful presidency during the month of March. I also thank ASG Khiari for his briefing on Monday’s strike in Damascus.

We underline the importance of respect for the inviolability of diplomatic premises and protection of diplomatic and consular staff for the proper conduct of diplomatic relations. The safety and security of diplomatic premises and staff is a fundamental principle guiding diplomatic relations.

President, we are clear that Iran’s role in destabilising the region, through its military, financial and political support to groups which have been conducting and threatening attacks, is unacceptable.

Amongst the groups which Iran has continued to support are Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, militias in Syria and Iraq, and the Houthis. As well as attacking Israel, these groups have been responsible for the attacks against international shipping, including the deaths of innocent mariners and attacks against international forces in Iraq and Syria.

Our Foreign Secretary has raised repeatedly with his Iranian counterpart the need for this support to cease and for Iran to use its influence over the groups to prevent their attacks.

President, the UK is deeply concerned about the potential for escalation in the region and calls on all parties to reduce tensions.

We are committed to de-escalation in the Middle East. We have long been calling for an immediate humanitarian pause in Gaza leading to a sustainable ceasefire without a return to destruction, fighting and loss of life, as the fastest way to get hostages out and aid in. This Council sent a clear signal on this just last week when it passed resolution 2728.

We stand ready to work with all members of this Council and the international community to promote and protect international peace and security in the region and throughout the world.

Published 2 April 2024