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        General Assembly
20 September 2002

Official Records
General Assembly
Fifty-seventh session
18th plenary meeting
Friday, 20 September 2002, 10.30 a.m.
New York

President:Mr. Kavan .................................................................. (Czech Republic)
The meeting was called to order at 10.35 a.m.


Agenda item 9 (continued)

General debate


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

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


The United Arab Emirates is very concerned about the dangerous events in the occupied Palestinian territories. We express our sympathy and solidarity with the Palestinian people in their ordeal. We also denounce all acts of aggression committed by the occupying Israeli forces, and we demand that the international community, in particular the large influential countries, the United States of America and the European Union, compel Israel to end immediately all acts of murder, destruction, closure and displacement of the Palestinian people.

The United Arab Emirates renews its support of the right of the Palestinians to self-determination and the establishment of their independent State, with Jerusalem as its capital. Accordingly, we reaffirm our support of the Arab peace initiative that was endorsed at the Beirut Summit. This initiative comprises a process for a just and comprehensive settlement that ensures the rights of both parties. Such a position was expressed by United States President George W. Bush in a speech calling for the creation of a Palestinian State.

We also call upon Israel to end its continuous violations of the agreements it made within the framework of the peace process and to resume peace talks in accordance with General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 181 (1947), 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002), and 425 (1978). These call for Israel’s withdrawal from the Palestinian occupied lands, including the city of Jerusalem, to the 1967 borders, from the Syrian Golan Heights to the line set before 4 June 1967 and from the Lebanese Shabaa farms, and for the dismantling of all settlements in occupied Palestinian and Arab lands and for the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland.

Maintaining peace and security in the Middle East and the Arabian Gulf region depends, to a great extent, on applying a more comprehensive and transparent concept that entails the removal of weapons of mass destruction. The fact that Israel has these weapons, including nuclear weapons, is a direct threat to regional and international security. Accordingly, we again urge the international community and relevant international organizations to pressure Israel, by all means possible, to abandon its nuclear weapons and to subject its nuclear facilities to the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency. This proposal aims to establish a nuclear-free zone, along with a zone that is free of weapons of mass destruction, in the Middle East and the Arabian Gulf, similar to other regions in the world.


The Acting President: I now give the floor to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the Gambia, His Excellency Mr. Baboucarr-Blaise Ismaila Jagne.

Mr. Jagne (Gambia): ...


The situation in the Middle East remains a matter of grave concern to my delegation. The Security Council must show more leadership in the efforts of the international community to contain and resolve the serious tensions between Israel and Palestine, which pose a grave threat to the stability of the nations in the region and the peace of the whole world. It is unacceptable for the world to stand back and watch as helpless civilians are attacked in refugee camps or are killed or maimed by suicide bombers. The suffering of innocent people in the Middle East must be brought to an end immediately.

My delegation strongly urges, therefore, that all the relevant United Nations resolutions on Palestine and the Middle East, notably Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), be complied with without further delay. We also fully support those who have called for the recognition of the State of Israel by all nations, as well as the creation and the recognition by all of a State of Palestine.


The Acting President: The Assembly will now hear an address by His Excellency Mr. Ion Botnaru, Chairman of the delegation of the Republic of Moldova.

Mr. Botnaru (Republic of Moldova): ...


Undoubtedly, there is an urgent need for more substantial efforts to bring an end to the Middle East conflict. This year has been marked by successive terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians and by Israel’s disproportionate use of force against the Palestinians. We support the efforts of the Quartet to restart the peace process on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions in order to achieve the peaceful coexistence of Israel and an independent Palestinian State within secure and internationally recognized borders.


The meeting rose at 1.30 p.m.

This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-178. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.

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