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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
8 October 2009

Spokesperson's Noon Briefing

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


The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Michèle Montas, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.


**Security Council on Wednesday

The Security Council, in consultations yesterday afternoon, considered a request submitted by Libya for an emergency Council meeting to discuss the fact-finding commission headed by Justice Richard Goldstone that looked into the violence in Gaza.

The Council President said, after consultations ended, that Council members had agreed to move up the periodic discussion of the Middle East from the previously scheduled date of 20 October to next Wednesday, 14 October.  Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe, intends to brief Council members at that meeting.

** Jerusalem

Today in Jerusalem, the UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, visited the Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount compound.  He subsequently conveyed his assessment of the situation to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, and Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.  Serry also met senior Jordanian officials in Amman.

Following his visit and meetings, which aimed to defuse tensions, Serry stressed that the Secretary-General has been very concerned at the recent clashes in Jerusalem.  He added that incitement from any quarter regarding holy sites, as well as provocative actions in east Jerusalem, do not serve the sanctity of the city or the cause of peace.  They must stop, he said.

Based on his visit to Al Aqsa mosque and his contacts, Serry said it is clear that the situation is not yet resolved but that tensions have eased somewhat.  He said he had been assured by all the parties he met of their desire to see calm restored.  “We cannot allow a further outbreak of violence or let extremists set the agenda,” he added.  We have his full statement upstairs.


**Questions and Answers

Question:  Michèle, the 14 October meeting on Gaza, is that a closed meeting and will there be any kind of press conference organized to share details with us about…?

Spokesperson:  Well, I would have to get the information from the Security Council.  As you know, they decide on which meeting will be open or which one will be closed.

[The Spokesperson later clarified that the Security Council meeting on the Middle East that will be held on 14 October will be an open meeting.]


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For information media • not an official record

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