22 September 2006 – Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, the Foreign Minister of Egypt has stressed his country’s role in calming tensions between Israel and Palestine while calling for a comprehensive approach to achieving peace in the Middle East.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Thursday that the recent war in Lebanon, in addition to causing untold devastation, has demonstrated that military might cannot impose a political solution. “It has also proven that the solution lies in ending the occupation and in negotiating a just political settlement that will eliminate the feelings of enmity and replace them with relations of cooperation and peaceful co-existence,” he said.
He welcomed the adoption of Security Council resolution 1701 ending the war in Lebanon, but said this first step in the right direction “will remain incomplete and will not enjoy success without dealing with the core of the conflict in the region, namely the Arab-Israeli conflict.” Warning that this conflict “carries the seeds of a conflagration that could go beyond the region,” he called for global efforts to address its root causes.
For its part, he said Egypt is working to improve the security situation between the Palestinians and the Israelis “through direct engagement with both parties.”
The Foreign Minister also spoke directly to the citizens of Israel. “We assure the Israeli people that there is a path other than that of violence and counter-violence, and that the Arab world is ready to accept them as neighbours an a part of the region within a comprehensive peace agreement that transcends the suffering of the past, preserves the interests of the peoples of the region and assures Arabs and Israelis of a life in safety, security and cooperation.”