Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter

Source: Secretary-General
14 January 2005



Port Louis, Mauritius, 14 January 2005 - Secretary-General's press conference in Mauritius

...

Q: Nita Ballah, from Reuters. Sir, I have two Qs. One, you mentioned the elections in Palestine. How do you think the election of Mahmoud Abbas will push forward the peace process in the Middle East? and secondly, in the text of the document that will be finalized today, do you see a shift in sympathy towards small island developing states as a result, and do you think this could be as a result of the Asian disaster caused by the tsunami?

SG: Let me say that, first of all I have been very impressed by the way the Palestinians have handled the transition process after the death of President Arafat. It had gone quite smoothly and the elections were very well organized, perhaps one of the best prepared.

We have worked with them for a year in preparation--that is the UN-- in preparation on the elections. And with the election of Mr Abu Mazen, Mr [Mahmoud] Abbas, I believe that there is a legitimate leader, with the support of the Palestinian people and he has won by quite a sizeable margin, that the international community and the Israeli government can deal with.

At the same time, the Israeli government is pressing ahead with its withdrawal plan from Gaza and I hope they will be able to coordinate it with the new Palestinian Authority, with the support of the international community. So I believe we have a real opportunity--a window here--to intensify the peace efforts and move it forward. And as a member of the Quartet, I can tell you that all the other members of the Quartet are determined to take advantage of this new opening and ensure that in 2005 we do make real progress on this issue.

...


Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter