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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
2 April 2008




Spokesperson's Noon Briefing

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING BY THE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL





The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Marie Okabe, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.


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Question:  I wanted to find out about the Israeli settlement activities.  There’s a group called “Peace Now in Israel”, which is a civil society movement, saying that the settlement activities had increased.  Condoleezza Rice has said it again and again.  Is the Secretary-General, as the interlocutor and part of the Quartet, going to ask them to halt this activity at all?


Deputy Spokesperson:  We have raised with the Israeli Government through the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO), our serious concern at recent reports of further settlement activity and we are awaiting clarifications.  We reiterate that any settlement in occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, is illegal and contrary to the Road Map.  We believe credible and visible action must be taken to implement Israel’s obligations to freeze settlement activity, including actual growth, and to dismantle outposts.  We strongly support the ongoing efforts within the context of the Annapolis process and to bring about concrete action on this and all Phase I “Road Map” obligations.

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