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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
24 September 2009


General Assembly
GA/10862

            Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-fourth General Assembly
Plenary
5th & 6th Meetings (AM & PM)



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Background

The General Assembly, this morning, met to continue its general debate for the sixty-fourth session.

Statements

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JOSE LUIS RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO, President of Spain, ...

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On peacekeeping, he shared concern at the situation in Afghanistan, and was confident that the international community would find solutions, not all of which would be military.  In addition, the search for peaceful solutions in the Middle East had to continue, and the global community should consider recognizing a State of Israel and a State of Palestine.

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TAYYIP Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey, ...

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... Turning to Palestine, he said Turkey was very sensitive to this issue and had always stood by the Palestinian people.  Resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict towards two peaceful coexisting States was invaluable to global peace.  Treating everyone fairly and equally would allow for regional and global stability.

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BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, Prime Minister of Israel, ...

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He then turned to the recently issued report on the crisis in Gaza earlier in the year.  He viewed the document as falsely equating terrorists with those being targeted.  Recounting that Hamas had for eight years fired rockets on Israeli citizens, he said that there had not been one United Nations resolution condemning those criminal attacks.  And although Israel had unilaterally withdrawn from the Gaza Strip by removing 8,000 Israelis and 21 communities -- a move that many in Israel believed would bring peace -- Israel had been subjected to Iranian-backed terrorism to which the United Nations remained silent.  After eight years, Israel had been forced to respond. 

He affirmed Israel’s desire for a permanent, genuine and defensible peace, and he reminded the Assembly that anytime an Arab leader reached out to make peace, Israel met with them, such as it had with Egyptian and Jordanian officials. “If the Palestinians truly want peace, I and my Government and the Israeli people, will make peace,” he said, recalling that when a two-State solution had been voted in 1947, Jews accepted the resolution but Arabs rejected it. 

What Israel had wanted for 62 years was for the Palestinians to say “yes” to a Jewish State, just as Israel was asked to recognize a nation-state for the Palestinian people.  “It is as simple, clear and elementary as that.”  He stressed that peace, prosperity and dignity required security.  Israel must have its security and that the Palestinians “should have all the power to govern themselves except the handful of powers […] that threatened Israel”.

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VALDIS ZATLERS, President of Latvia, ...

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...  With regard to the Middle East crisis, he urged both Israel and the Palestinians to work towards carving out a two-State territory.  His country had set up a rehabilitation programme for 18 traumatized Palestinian children from the Gaza Strip.

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MOHAMED NASHEED, President of the Maldives, ...

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With regard to international relations, he said his country wanted to renew its relations with Israel and supported an independent and sovereign Palestinian homeland, in conformity with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.  ...

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For information media • not an official record

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