UNISPAL Home

Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


Fifty-fourth General Assembly
Plenary
16th Meeting (AM)
GA/9615
29 September 1999

GENERAL DEBATE CONTINUES IN ASSEMBLY; EAST TIMOR, MIDDLE EAST PEACE,
SECURITY COUNCIL REFORM AMONG TOPICS RAISED


/...

David Levy, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Israel, said his country found itself confronted with contradicting realities. Parallel to the political process, its negotiating partners were conducting a strident political war against Israel in different international forums, including the Assembly. That dualism was intolerable, as were the extreme decisions taken by the Arab League against Israel, which were not harmonious with the spirit of peace as expressed in the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum. Israel,
however, was determined to reach a framework agreement, which would form the basis of
the permanent status agreement by February 2000, as agreed upon in the Memorandum.

From Israel's perspective, there had never been any competition between the different negotiating tracks, he noted. It aspired to reach peace with Syria and Lebanon. Israel never had territorial claims or disputes with Lebanon -- its only interest was the safety and security of its citizens. The Lebanese Government had failed in the past to enforce its sovereignty in the southern part of Lebanon and to disarm the Hizbullah. Israel hoped
that situation would take a turn for the better and that it would be able to leave south Lebanon as part of an agreement.

/...

Assembly work programme

/...


DAVID LEVY, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel, said that, on the way to achieving peace in the Middle East, Israel found itself confronted with contradicting realities. Parallel to the political process, its negotiating partners were conducting a strident political war against Israel in different international forums, including the General Assembly. That dualism was intolerable, as were the extreme decisions taken by the Arab League against Israel, which were not harmonious with the spirit of peace as expressed in the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum.

He said Israel was determined to reach a framework agreement, which would form the basis of the permanent status agreement, by February 2000 as agreed upon in the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum. The topics at hand were known, as were the different vantage points of each side. Those differences could be resolved only by direct negotiations.

Noting that there had never been any competition between the different negotiating tracks from Israel's perspective, he said Israel aspired to reach peace with Syria, its neighbour to the north. It was time to talk; meetings and discussions were not political sacrifices, but basic necessities. Israel wished to see Lebanon join the camp of peacemakers, he said. The anomaly which had developed on its territory must end. Israel had
never had territorial claims or disputes with Lebanon. Its one and only interest was to guarantee the safety and security of its citizens. The Government of Lebanon had failed in past years to enforce its sovereignty in the southern part of Lebanon and to disarm the Hizbullah. Israel hoped that that situation would take a turn for the better and that it would be able to leave south Lebanon as part of an agreement.

/...


SHAIKH MOHAMED BIN MUBARAK AL-KHALIFA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bahrain, ... said Bahrain hoped that the new Israeli Government would translate its promises into full and complete implementation of all agreements reached.

/...

* *** *
______________________________________________________________________
For information media - not an official record