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4 April 2002
Remarks of the Secretary-General on the Middle East
At the presentation of the three segments of the Berlin Wall
Headquarters, New York
4 April 2002
SG. Yes, I think it’s a good sign that enmity between people in countries does not last forever, and that peace is always possible. And we should keep up hope even in the Middle East and continue our search for peace. We should never give up hope.
SG: I think the announcement today from the White House was encouraging, and I have spoken to the Secretary of State, and I am happy that the US is becoming much more engaged.
Q: Did you have any contacts with the leaders over there today?
SG: I have, yesterday and today spoken to some of the leaders in the region and I continue my contacts with them.
Q: What would be your advice to Secretary of State, Powell – what would you like to him do over there?
SG: I think Secretary of State, Powell is a very experienced man and I think he will have to approach it and do it his own way. But I am in constant touch with him we exchange ideas, not only with him, but with the European Union, the Russian Federation and also with the Arab leaders. But I think what I have stressed all along is that we cannot focus on security alone, and that we need to understand that peace and security are two sides of the same coin. And we need to broaden our efforts to bring in the political aspects as well as do something about the horrible humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian people. So I hope our efforts, as we move forward would embrace all these aspects and be comprehensive.
Q: Do you believe that President Bush’s call for an immediate halt to Israeli incursions, and a start of withdrawal of Israeli military forces might be the key to starting to cool things down?
SG: I think that was an important call from the President. We should not forget that the US along with other 13 members of the Security Council voted for the withdrawal of the Israeli troops in Resolution 1402. And I am really happy to see the President reaffirm this publicly, and I urge the Israeli leadership to listen to him and implement the Resolution.