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The President: I have great pleasure in welcoming the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, His Excellency Mr. Ralph E. Gonsalves, and inviting him to address the General Assembly.
Similarly, the plight of the Palestinian people is being sacrificed on the altar of political expediency, with a disregard for the opinions of almost all of humankind. The issue certainly entails enormous complexities but, unless it is resolved satisfactorily, sustainable peace in the Middle East will remain unattainable. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines hopes that current moves towards serious negotiations will bear fruit in line with the principles and mandates that have been spelled out repeatedly in various United Nations resolutions.
The President: I have great pleasure in welcoming His Excellency Mr. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Independent State of Samoa, and inviting him to address the General Assembly.
The renewed efforts made and great courage shown in the process of restarting the stalled Middle East peace plan for the Israeli and Palestinian peoples has our strongest endorsement. It gives rise to hope that the two-State solution, which is the only option with realistic prospects for lasting peace, can still be achieved.
The Acting President (spoke in French): I have great pleasure in welcoming His Excellency Mr. Milo Dukanović, Prime Minister of Montenegro, and inviting him to address the General Assembly.
In the context of the situation in the Middle East, we are particularly pleased by the resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations after several stalled years, and we commend the mediation efforts of the United States Secretary of State. Montenegro believes that direct negotiations are the best way to reach a comprehensive and sustainable settlement.
The Acting President (spoke in French): I now call on His Excellency Mr. Jean Asselborn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Tragic as it may be, the situation in Syria must not lead us to forget the plight of the Palestinian people. We must not forget the urgent need to see the creation of a contiguous and viable Palestinian State, living in peace and security, side by side with the State of Israel. I welcome the commitment and resolve of the Secretary of State of the United States, John Kerry, to restart direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. I also praise the political courage and the sense of responsibility shown by the Israeli and Palestinian authorities in accepting to return to the negotiating table. Eight rounds have been held since 14 August. We hope that the negotiations will intensify in October and lead to a result within the agreed time frame of nine months.
We all know that this initiative is probably our last opportunity to act. We must not let it slip away. If we do, it could lead to dramatic consequences. The time has come to make difficult decisions, to take the necessary historic measures in line with the long-term interests of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. The time has come to implement the two-State solution. This is no time for unilateral acts that fuel the dynamic of mistrust. Building illegal settlements and destroying Palestinian homes and infrastructure in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, must stop immediately. The attacks on Gaza must stop. All violence must stop.
With its partners in the European Union, Luxembourg stands ready to pursue its active contribution to the ongoing efforts, in close cooperation with key stakeholders, the Quartet and countries in the region. There can be no security in Israel without a viable Palestinian State. There can be no security in the region without peace in all countries of the Middle East.
The Acting President (spoke in French): I now call on His Excellency Mr. Evangelos Venizelos, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic.
The relaunching of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, facilitated by the United States, provides an important opportunity to reach a final settlement to this long-standing problem, to the benefit and stability in the wider region, based on a two-State solution with a secure Israel and a sovereign, contiguous and viable Palestine living side by side. Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas must be praised for their leadership and courage to engage in the peace talks. Now is the time to take bold and concrete steps towards peace.
The meeting rose at 6.25 p.m.
This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room U-506. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.