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        General Assembly
14 November 2001

Official Records
General Assembly
Fifty-sixth session
53rd plenary meeting
Wednesday, 14 November 2001, 3 p.m.
New York

President:Mr. Han Seung-soo ...............................................................(Republic of Korea)

The meeting was called to order at 3 p.m.

Agenda item 9 (continued)

General debate


The Acting President : I now give the floor to His Excellency The Honourable Lieutenant-General. Mompati S. Merafhe, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Botswana.

Mr. Merafhe (Botswana):


My delegation is seriously concerned at the recent escalation of violence in the Middle East. It is our sincere hope that the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority will recognize the urgent need to resume negotiations towards a comprehensive peace agreement. A lasting solution to this problem is essential.


The Acting President (spoke in French): I call on His Excellency Mr. Koffi Panou, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Togo.

Mr. Panou (Togo) (spoke in French):


The serious crisis endures in the Middle East. Violence can only beget bitterness and resentment and perpetuate violence. The hellish cycle of violence that the region has known for already more than a year — in particular, in the occupied Palestinian territories — has certainly had an impact on the negotiations being pursued with a view to reaching a just, final and comprehensive settlement to the question of Palestine that is at the heart of the conflict.

It is therefore important that the parties in conflict show greater proof of the necessary political will in applying the agreements that have been reached and work to conclude other arrangements on the basis of the relevant Security Council resolutions. In this respect, Togo welcomes the positive developments that have been recently made with respect to the evolution of the position of certain Member States on the creation of a Palestinian State.


Mr. Gatti (San Marino) (spoke in Italian; English text provided by the delegation):


San Marino is also seriously concerned about the escalation of violence and the increased hostilities in the Middle East and hopes that, in that tormented and contested land, dialogue and negotiations can be resumed as the sine qua non of a longed-for world reconciliation.


The Acting President (spoke in French): I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Kolawolé A. Idji, Minister for Foreign Affairs and African Integration of the Republic of Benin.

Mr. Idji (Benin) (spoke in French):


It is more urgent than ever to establish such peace in the Middle East by recognizing as a matter of urgency on the part of us all the imperative necessity of the Palestinian State — side by side, of course, with the State of Israel — in peace with all its neighbours within secure and recognized frontiers. This is the same peace that Angola and all Africa long for.


The meeting rose at 7.25 p.m.

This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-178. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.

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