Department of Public Information
News Coverage Service
12 June 1984
SECRETARY-GENERAL ARRIVES IN ISRAEL FOR MIDDLE EAST TALKS
Holds Talks in Jerusalem with Prime Minister and Foreign Minister
Visits War and Holocaust Memorial
(Received front the Spokesman for the Secretary-General.)
JERUSALEM, 12 June - Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar arrived today in Israel on the fifth and last stop of his current visit to the Middle East.
The Secretary-General's special plane flew in from Amman, and landed at Ben Gurion International Airport at 10:30 a.m. (local time). The Secretary-General was met upon arrival by David Kimche, Director-General of the Foreign Ministry; Yehuda Blum, Permanent representative of Israel to the United Nations; and a number of Israeli officials; as well as Major-General Emmanuel Erskine, Commander of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO).
Upon arrival, the Secretary-General told the press he was pleased "to visit Israel in my present capacity of Secretary-General of the United Nations and I am looking forward to my discussions with Prime Minister Shamir and other members of the Government".
"As you know", he went on, "during the last week I have visited Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. This tour, including my visit here, was undertaken at the invitation of the Governments of the area. It is providing me with a valuable opportunity to make my own assessment of the situation, and to renew my personal contacts with the leaders in the area." The Secretary-General said he had been able to "exchange views with them on letters of mutual concern and interest, with emphasis on the historical role of the United Nations in the Middle East".
He added: "In my meetings here, I will be listening with great interest to the views of the Prime Minister and other officials on questions concerning the Middle East, including Lebanon. I earnestly hope that we may together be able to agree on some constructive steps in order to improve the present situation in the area."
The Secretary-General then proceeded by road to Jerusalem, where he met at noon with the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Yitzhak. Shamir, at the Prime Minister's office. The Secretary-General, accompanied by Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs Brian Urquhart, first met alone with Prime Minister Shamir arid Ambassador Blum, for a discussion of the Middle East situation lasting half an hour.
The Secretary-General and the Prime Minister were then joined by their delegations for a further meeting lasting one hour, which concentrated on the situation in the Persian Gulf area, and the war between Iran and Iraq, as well as the Middle East situation, and, in particular, the situation in southern Lebanon.
The Prime Minister informed the Secretary-General of Israel's position regarding an international conference on the Middle East.
For his part, the Secretary-General stressed the urgent necessity for a resumption of the Middle East negotiating process.
The situation in Cyprus in the light of the forthcoming meeting of the Security Council on the mandate of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) was also discussed at the end of the meeting. The Secretary-General stated to the press following the talks that they had been "very useful".
The Secretary-General was then guest at a luncheon given for him by Mr. Kimche, Director-General of the Foreign Ministry.
In the afternoon, he visited Yad Vashem, a memorial to "the martyrs and heroes of World War II, and the victims of .the Holocaust". The Secretary- General toured the museum devoted to historical documents related to the Holocaust, and later laid a wreath in the Remembrance Hall of Yad Vashen, in memory of the victims who died in concentration camps during the Second World War. In the Golden Book of the Remembrance Hall, the Secretary-General spoke of his "horror and emotion" on this visit, and expressed the hope that United Nations human rights conventions would preserve all people from the tragic fate and humiliation suffered by the Jewish people in the Second World War.
Later tonight, the Secretary-General will meet at his hotel with Shimon Peres, Chairman of the Israeli Labour Party, and will then attend a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Shamir.
Tomorrow (13 June), the Secretary-General will call on the President of Israel, Chaim Herzog. He will later meet again with Mr. Kimche at the Prime Minister's office to continue his political talks.
The Secretary-General will then visit the UNTSO headquarters in Jerusalem, at Government house on Mount Scopus.
Following a luncheon with United Nations officials and a meeting with the United Nations staff in Jerusalem, the Secretary-General win drive back to Tel Aviv, where be will have a meeting with the Minister of Defence, Moshe Arens, at the Defence Ministry.
The Secretary-General is scheduled to leave Israel at 5 p.m. (local time) tomorrow afternoon aboard a special plane, which will take him to Europe on his way to New York. He is expected to arrive in New York in the early afternoon of Thursday, 14 June.
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