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Source:
11 December 2003
Press conference by the Secretary-General and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
Berlin, Germany
11 December 2003

(unofficial transcript)


[The German Chancellor first made some introductory comments in German.]

...

We also talked about [the] Middle East. It’s a difficult situation. The Road Map is in a bit of a distress. Some think it’s dead, but it’s not dead at all. “Distress” doesn’t mean death. But we hope we can get it back on track. But I think there’s a new mood, a new mood developing in the region. We’ve seen how active civil society on both sides, the Israelis and the Palestinians, has been. We’ve all read about the Geneva initiative. I met the team that developed the initiative in New York. We also know about the [Ami] Ayalon—[Sari] Nusseibeh proposals, as well as other civil society activities. And I think this new dynamic, I hope, would inspire the leaders of both parties to take the necessary steps to get back to the negotiating table and lead their people out of the misery and the pain that they are living in now. It is encouraging that today, in almost all the newspapers in the region, they are talking about the peace alternative. People know there is an alternative. It doesn’t have to be all the killing that is going on. It need not continue.
...

Thank you.
*****


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