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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/54/PV.7
21 September 1999

Official Records

General Assembly
Fifty-fourth Session
7th plenary meeting
Tuesday, 21 September 1999, 3 p.m.
New York

President: Mr. Gurirab ........................................... (Namibia)

The meeting was called to order at 3.05 p.m.

/...

Agenda item 9

General debate

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The President: The Assembly will now hear an address by the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic.

/...

Mr. Dzurinda (Slovakia): ...

/...

The Slovak Republic considers a just peace in the Middle East to be an important component of global stability. For this reason, we welcomed the signing, on 4 September 1999, of a new agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on the implementation of individual steps of the Wye Memorandum. At the same time, we hope that Israel, Syria and Lebanon will also renew their dialogues. Although certain issues remain to be resolved among the parties, we believe that a final agreement will eventually be reached and a permanent peace will be secured for the Middle East region.

/...

The President: I now call on His Excellency Mr. Modibo Sidibe, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mali.

Mr. Sidibe (Mali) (spoke in French): ...

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The situation in the Middle East remains a source of concern, despite the revival of the peace process. I wish to reaffirm here the unreserved support of Mali for the just struggle of the Palestinian people as well as for a comprehensive just and lasting solution based on the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the principle of land for peace.

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The President: I now call on the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Austria, Her Excellency Mrs. Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

Mrs. Ferrero-Waldner (Austria): ...

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After a long impasse the peace process in the Middle East is back on track. Austria greatly welcomes the memorandum signed by Israel and the Palestinians at Sharm el-Sheikh, which removes the obstacles to the implementation of the Wye Agreement. Furthermore, we have taken note with satisfaction that implementation on the ground has already begun. Here I should especially like to point to the handing over of territory, the release of Palestinian prisoners and the beginning of the final status negotiations. This clear commitment of the parties should augur well for further speedy progress on the road to peace. Now it will also be necessary to bring about new momentum in the Syrian/Lebanese track of the peace process by relaunching the negotiations between Israel, Syria and Lebanon. I think that all parties agree that peace and mutual understanding are the only viable option for a prosperous future for all nations in the Middle East region.

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The President: I now give the floor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, His Excellency Mr. Borys Tarasyuk.

Mr. Tarasyuk (Ukraine): ...

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The situation in the Middle East requires closer attention by the Security Council. We believe that the Security Council should send strong encouragement to all the parties to the Middle East peace process. It is time to come back to the negotiating table to find a final compromise solution to the pending problems on the basis of the relevant Security Council resolutions. In that context, Ukraine welcomes the recent signing of the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum on 4 September, brought about thanks to the constructive approach of the new Israeli Government and to the position taken by the Palestinian leadership.

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The President: I call next on His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Benaissa, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco.

Mr. Benaissa (Morocco) (spoke in Arabic): ...

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The international community has followed with satisfaction the beginning of a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East crisis. This has been achieved through various agreements reached by the parties concerned, the latest being the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum. Those accords rekindled the hopes of the peoples of the region in building a new future based on security, stability and coexistence. The agreements that have been signed — which are founded on the principle of land for peace — set the stage for a new era based on international law, as attested to by the commitments made by the parties concerned. The accords uphold the right of all peoples of the region to live in security and stability, and the right of the Palestinian people in particular to exercise self-determination and to establish its independent State.

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The Acting President: I now call on the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, His Excellency Mr. Rashid Abdullah Al-Noaimi.

Mr. Al-Noaimi (United Arab Emirates) (spoke in Arabic): ...

/...

Proceeding from its belief in the need to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on the principle of land for peace and on the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, the United Arab Emirates welcomes the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum and the preliminary contacts between the Palestinian and Israeli sides regarding the final status negotiations, which are to deal with the issues of Jerusalem, settlements, refugees and borders.

We attach great importance to the political developments that will lead to the realization of the objectives and aspirations on which the peace process is based — namely, the achievement of a peaceful, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine and of the Middle East problem. We call upon the Israeli Government to implement fully and scrupulously, and without further delay or obstructions, all of the obligations and commitments it has assumed within the framework of these agreements. I refer in particular to those relating to halting settlement activities and policies in various parts of occupied Palestinian land and other occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and to the return of Palestinian refugees in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the international community and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

In applauding the positive role played by the United States of America in reviving the peace process, we express the hope that further efforts will be made by the co-sponsors of the process and by the members of the European Union and other influential States to persuade the Israeli Government to fulfil its historical, political and legal obligations that are based on the principles of international law and the principle of land for peace. This would restore to the Palestinian people their legitimate rights and would enable them to exercise selfdetermination and establish their own independent state in Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital.

We also reiterate our full and unqualified support for the position of Lebanon and demand that the Government of Israel implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978). That resolution calls for the Israeli forces to withdraw, without any preconditions, from southern Lebanon and from the West Bekaa Valley, and to resume negotiations on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks at the point where they were cut off. The aim is to ensure a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Syrian Arab Golan Heights to the line of 4 June 1967, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).

The acquisition and possession of weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons, are contrary to the objectives and recommendations unanimously adopted by members of the international community at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). This not only contributes to the escalation of the proscribed arms race and the heightening of tensions, but also disrupts the security balance at the regional and international levels.

Consonant with its position that favours the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones throughout the world, the United Arab Emirates emphasizes the importance and necessity of establishing a zone free from weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, in the region of the Middle East and the Arabian Gulf. It renews its call to the international community to exert greater efforts, demanding that Israel accede to the NPT and place all of its nuclear facilities under the safeguards regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in order to ensure peace and security in the region and the attainment of the desired economic and social development.

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The meeting rose at 7.35 p.m.


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