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President: The Hon. Julian R. Hunte..............................................(Saint Lucia)
The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.
Agenda item 9 (continued)
The President: I now give the floor to His Excellency The Honourable James Wapakhabulo, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Uganda.
Mr. Wapakhabulo (Uganda): ...
On the situation in the Middle East, Uganda welcomes the Quartet-led road map for a comprehensive settlement. We support the establishment of a Palestinian State living side by side and in peace with Israel, within secure and recognized borders, in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions.
The President : I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Yousef Bin Al-Alawi Bin Abdulla, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman.
Mr. Abdulla (Oman) (spoke in Arabic): ...
We have followed recent developments in Palestine with grave concern. The Palestinian National Authority responded positively to the international community’s demands by accepting the road map — considered the most important document in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict — which embodies the international commitment to establishing an independent, sovereign Palestinian State alongside the State of Israel. Nevertheless, the cycle of violence between the Palestinians and the Israeli Government continues unabated, which may doom the entire peace process, plunging it into a dark abyss from which it could be very difficult to rescue it. Therefore, the Quartet — sponsor of the road map — must shoulder its international responsibilities in that regard.
One might well wonder how peace can be achieved between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples when the Israeli Government has decided in principle to expel President Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestinian Authority and elected leader of the Palestinian people. One might also ask whether the Government of Israel, a Member State of the United Nations, is honouring its commitments under the Charter. The United Nations must intervene to put an end to that Israeli policy. Israel must respond to the international community’s demands and must comply with international resolutions. It must respond positively to international efforts aimed at implementation of the road map, which provides both parties with international guarantees aimed at achieving peace based on the establishment of an independent, sovereign Palestinian State on all Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967. Such a solution would give the States in the region a historic opportunity to build a new Middle East. In that connection, we must warn that failure to commit to the establishment of a Palestinian State in conformity with the road map would create a crisis with catastrophic results.
My country shares with many other Member States the view that peace in the Middle East region will not be true and lasting unless our approach is just and comprehensive. In that connection, the Sultanate of Oman reaffirms its support for Lebanon’s right to restore the remaining Sheba’a farms and the Syrian Arab Republic’s right to recover the Syrian Golan, occupied on 4 June 1967.
Mr. Andrianarivelo-Razafy (Madagascar), Vice-President, took the Chair.
The Acting President (spoke in French): I give the floor to Mr. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya.
Mr. Musyoka (Kenya): ...
We are concerned at the continuing deterioration of the situation in the Middle East. Kenya notes with regret that a lasting solution to the question of Palestine remains elusive despite the various initiatives undertaken and efforts made to address the problem. We should not lose sight of the objective of establishing a viable Palestinian State, as envisaged in United Nations resolutions. Similarly, it should be recalled that, in order to ensure a durable solution to the conflict, it is important to take full account of the right of Israel to exist within safe and secure borders. We therefore reiterate our call to the parties to the conflict, as well as to the other players involved, to exercise restraint and to give priority to dialogue.
The Acting President (spoke in French ): I now call on Mr. Seyoum Mesfin, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
Mr. Mesfin (Ethiopia): ...
As a country from a region that has lost much and has stayed far behind in development because of the absence of peace, Ethiopia feels solidarity with all the peoples of the Middle East who yearn for peace, security and justice. As a people very close to the Middle East, Ethiopia has close affinity with the people of Palestine and with the people of Israel. It is our hope that the suffering of both will end soon and that the hope held up by the road map will be realized.
The Acting President (spoke in French ): I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Antanas Valionis, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania.
Mr. Valionis (Lithuania): ...
The current setbacks in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians must not prevent the implementation of the road map. The vision of two States living side by side in peace and prosperity remains the only viable option.
The Acting President (spoke in French ): I now call on His Excellency The Honourable Sir Rabbie Namaliu, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration of Papua New Guinea.
Sir Rabbie Namaliu (Papua New Guinea): ...
On the Israeli and Palestinian issue, we were encouraged by the general positive signs of progress towards resolving and securing peace based on the United States-led road map. However, this has deteriorated in recent weeks. We call upon all parties involved to exercise maximum restraint and work towards the peaceful settlement of this crisis.
We are pleased that the Quartet has recently convened in New York to review the road map. We look forward to their strong leadership in assisting to resolve this long outstanding issue. Fighting and violence will not resolve the conflict. We join the international community’s call for both the Israeli and Palestinian leadership to make renewed efforts at the negotiating table, to cease all hostilities by both sides and to find a permanent solution to the problem.
Mr. Alexandre (Haiti), Vice-President, took the Chair.
The Acting President ( spoke in French ): I now call on Mr. Patrick Albert Lewis, chairman of the delegation of Antigua and Barbuda.
Mr. Lewis (Antigua and Barbuda): ...
We subsequently give our support for the peace process in the Middle East, based on the respective resolutions of both the General Assembly and the Security Council. ...
The meeting rose at 1.10 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-154A. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.