Question of Palestine home
8 April 2010
Press Stakeout with H.E. Werner Faymann, Federal Chancellor of Austria
Vienna, 8 April 2010
SG: Danke schoen, Herr Bundeskanzler. (Thank you, Mr. Chancellor)
Meine Damen und Herren, guten Tag! (Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen)
Es freut mich sehr. Ich danke Ihnen fuer Ihre Gastfreundlichkeit. (I am pleased to be here and highly appreciate your hospitality)
I had a very good meeting and it is a great pleasure for me to meet the Federal Chancellor again after our meeting in Copenhagen last year. We covered a full range of topics.
I thanked the Chancellor for Austria’s leadership in the Security Council and the vital role Austrian troops are playing in UN peacekeeping missions throughout the world.
We had also extensive discussions on how the international community can help to facilitate the Middle East peace process, and he briefed me about his plan to visit the Middle East. I briefed him on my own recent visit to the Middle East, including Gaza, and we discussed developments and the prospects for proximity talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
Q: Mr. Secretary-General I say good morning again because you didn’t hear that in our previous meeting. I would like to ask you about the Middle East. There is a story today in the New York Times, which indicates that the White House is considering its own peace plan for the stalemate that is actually occurring, which is lasting in that area for such a long time. Would you favour such an initiative by the United States to present their own peace plan, instead of waiting for what the proximity talks might bring?
SG: At this time I am not in a position to make any comment on such a peace plan to be prepared by the American Government because I have not been informed. What Quartet members together with the United States have been working [on] was to facilitate and strongly support the proximity talks which had been agreed with some difficulties. I, as a member of the Quartet as well as in my capacity as Secretary-General, I have been sparing no efforts to support these proximity talks. I went to Libya to participate in the League of Arab [States] summit meeting to talk to Arab leaders for their support for these proximity talks. Now it is necessary that the proximity talks need to be launched as soon as possible then we will have to see how the proximity talks will continue. These proximity talks, I believe, in the end should lead to direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians to resolve all core issues, including order and refugees and peace and security matters.
Thank you very much.