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Annex to the letter dated 9 September 2011 from the Permanent Representative of Gabon to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
On 23 June 2011, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs briefed the Council on the situation in the Middle East, specifically on the persistent impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. He reiterated the calls issued by the Secretary-General and the Middle East Quartet on 20 May 2011 for a prompt return to negotiations, and noted that the Secretary-General believes that the ideas offered by President Barack Obama in his speech of 19 May 2011 could help move the peace talks forward.
The Under-Secretary-General also reported on Israel’s continued settlements activity and the strong view of the United Nations that assistance for the population of Gaza should be delivered through official crossings.
The members of the Council renewed their support for the resumption of direct peace talks between Palestinians and the Israelis. Some members also reiterated their condemnation of Israel’s continued construction of settlements in the Arab territories.
With respect to Lebanon, the Under-Secretary-General reported that a new Government had been formed on 13 June. The Secretary-General looked forward to its full cooperation in the implementation of resolution 1701 (2006). Council members welcomed the formation of a new Government and expressed the hope that it would work to resolve security concerns posed by armed groups. They also urged the Lebanese authorities to encourage and strengthen national dialogue, as well as its cooperation with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.
With regard to the Golan, Council members deplored the incident of 5 June. Some members saw the Syrian Arab Republic as responsible for the incident, claiming that Syrian forces stationed at the demarcation line had deliberately allowed demonstrators to cross the line. Some delegations saw the negligence of the Syrian forces as a manoeuvre by Damascus in an attempt to turn international opinion away from the violence perpetrated against peaceful demonstrators in the Syrian Arab Republic. Some other delegations pointed out the excessive use of force by the Israeli military.