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Source: General Assembly
22 September 2005
General Assembly
GA/10393

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

Sixtieth General Assembly
Plenary
20th & 21st Meetings (AM & PM)

AS ANNUAL ASSEMBLY DEBATE CONTINUES, SPEAKERS EXPRESS SUPPORT FOR PEACEBUILDING
COMMISSION, HIGHLIGHT SECIAL NEEDS OF SMALL ISLANDS, AMONG OTHER ISSUED

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Background

The General Assembly met today to continue its annual general debate.

Statements

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FAROUK KASRAWI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Jordan, ...

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Saying that genuine reform and development hinged upon the political realities of the region where a State existed, he noted that the pattern of reform in Jordan and the Middle East would be more sustainable if the Road Map reached its goal of achieving a just settlement in the region.  Both the Israeli and Palestinian sides should carry out their obligations.  Jordan welcomed Israel’s withdrawal, which was not a replacement for the Road Map, but rather a part of it.  Israel should also withdraw from all Palestinian towns, cease all settlement activities in the West Bank, and cease building the separation fence in Palestinian areas, as that violated international humanitarian law, as noted by the International Court of Justice in its advisory opinion.  The Palestinian Authority, for its part, should preserve the truce and deal firmly with any cease-fire violations.  The international community and the Quartet should provide as much support as possible for the Palestinians

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NASSER AL-KIDWA, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Observer for Palestine, said that, unlike the Israeli Prime Minister who a few days ago said he had come to the United Nations from Jerusalem, he had not been able to do that.  East Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine, remained under Israeli occupation.  That indicated that the Middle East was still far from peace.  Only when Jerusalem was returned to its people or when United Nations resolutions were completely complied with would peace be truly achieved.  There was some promise.  Israel, the occupying Power, had completed its disengagement from the Gaza Strip.  What was important was what would follow.  He added that Israel, the occupying Power, had left the Gaza Strip completely devastated.

He said the Gaza Strip remained under Israel’s control.  It could not be economically or politically sustainable in isolation from the West Bank.  What Israel was doing in the West Bank was cause for pessimism.  Israel continued its construction of the separation wall and continued to seize the land in its attempts to annex it de facto, and it destroyed the livelihoods of tens of thousands of Palestinians.  It continued to establish and expand settlements.  The central mission for the international community was to bring about a complete cessation of all settlement activities and the construction of the wall, and to enforce the law.  Solutions must be found for outstanding issues surrounding the Gaza Strip, including the Rafah crossing, the airport and seaport, the removal of the rubble and the link between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.  The Sharm el Sheikh understandings should be implemented.

It was necessary to return to negotiations and implement the Road Map, he said.   Palestine was ready to begin final status negotiations immediately.  International assistance must be extended to the Palestinian people and to the Palestinian Authority.   Palestine had worked to get out of the cycle of violence, and it undertook a national dialogue that led to a unilateral declaration of a ceasefire.   Palestine would continue efforts to impose law and order.   Israel must stop its attempts to sabotage Palestinian elections.  It seemed Israel and some of its friends felt they had succeeded in imposing illegal conditions and in creating a degree of vagueness regarding some aspects of the conflict.  That was an attempt to undermine the legal foundations of the question of Palestine.  But Palestine believed the United Nations would not forsake its responsibilities.  He hoped Israeli authorities would begin to think about changing its policies instead of trying to market those policies and positions in the United Nations.

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IVAILO KALFIN, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, ...

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...  As for the Middle East, Bulgaria supported efforts to achieve a lasting and just solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, based on the Quartet-backed Road Map peace plan. ...

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ABDULLAH ALSAIDI (Yemen) ...

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On the recent developments in the Middle East, he said that Israel’s pull-out from the Gaza Strip was but one step on a long path to peace.  But he warned the Assembly that Israel had not made any great sacrifice because of its withdrawal from territories it had occupied by force in the first place.  Israel must continue its withdrawal from all Occupied Territories, in Gaza, the West Bank and the Syrian Golan.  He urged the United Nations and the Quartet not to accept any promises that did not take into account the real concerns of the Palestinians.  ...

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