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


Fifty-fifth General Assembly
Plenary
21st Meeting (PM)
GA/9772
18 September 2000



EMPHASIS PLACED ON IMPORTANCE OF PREVENTIVE DIPLOMACY

AND PEACE-BUILDING IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY DEBATE

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Statements

JASSIM MOHAMMED BUALLAY (Bahrain) said ... With regard to the Middle East peace process, he highlighted the importance of negotiations on a Syrian-Israeli track and the total Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territories. He called on the international community to redouble efforts and pressure Israel into meeting the requirements of peace. He added that, aware of the dangers of the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the people of the Middle East, including the Gulf region, had supported all initiatives aimed at freeing the region from weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons.

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HABIB BEN YAHIA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Tunisia, said that ... It was regrettable that the Middle East negotiations at Camp David had stalled without reaching a just settlement of the Palestinian question, he said. It was time to give proper form to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people and to the establishment of a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital, in conformity with international law and the terms of reference of the peace process. Tunisia hoped to see the United States Government continue to use its good offices, and other influential parties -- notably the European Union, the Russian Federation and Japan – to step up efforts for an agreement between the Palestinian Authority and the Government of Israel.

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Statements in Right of Reply

SHAHROUK SHAKERIAN (Iran), speaking in right of reply, said that this morning the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel, had raised some baseless accusations. Iran was among those countries in the Middle East that were party to many international agreements, such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Despite numerous demands from the international community, Israel would not join those instruments. It was the only country in the Middle East not to have taken part in the Treaty. Israel’s nuclear programme continued to be an alarming fact that menaced peace and stability in the Middle East

SOMAIA BARGHOUTI, observer for Palestine, also speaking in right of reply, said that this morning’s statement by Israel’s Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs had been fraught with historical and political fallacies, particularly with regard to the questions of Al-Quds/Jerusalem and refugees. The Observer Mission would reply during tomorrow morning’s meeting.


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For information media - not an official record