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16th plenary meeting
Tuesday, 20 September 2005, 3 p.m.
The meeting was called to order at 3.05 p.m.
Item 9 of the provisional agenda (continued)
The Acting President : I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Benaissa, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco.
Mr. Benaissa (Morocco) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
The Arab region, which continues to experience recurrent crises as well as new ones equally violent and fierce, looks to the Organization and to other international and regional actors for their assistance in solving them. In that regard, we hope that the ray of optimism that shone recently in the Middle East, prompting us to engage in cautious optimism, will be supported by serious and brave measures that will revive the peace process and put it back on track. The Kingdom of Morocco welcomed the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and considers it an important and positive decision on the path towards full implementation of the road map.
Morocco, which has always striven tirelessly and effectively to keep open the channels of communication and dialogue among the peoples of the Middle East, reaffirms its active commitment to promoting a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict that will lead to the establishment of a final, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East through the reactivation of the road map, the guaranteed establishment of a free Palestinian State with Al-Quds as its capital, and the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied Syrian and Lebanese territories.
His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee, has reaffirmed his resolve to continue to actively pursue and support all peace efforts and to work to preserve the Arab and Islamic identity of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and its status as a place of coexistence and tolerance among the three revealed religions.
The Acting President : I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Ahmed Ould Sid’Ahmed, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mauritania.
Mr. Ahmed (Mauritania) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
It is clear that we must quickly begin a political dialogue, which is the only means to end the conflict in the Middle East and to restore calm there. In this context, my country believes that the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and a few cities of the West Bank constitutes an important step towards the implementation of the road map and the Arab peace initiatives. Through those initiatives Arab States have proposed to Israel a comprehensive peace and normal relations in exchange for total withdrawal from all Palestinian territories and from Syrian and Lebanese territories, a return to the 4 June 1967 borders, the establishment of a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital, and a negotiated, just settlement of the problem of Palestinian refugees.
The President : I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Fabio Berardi, Minister for Foreign and Political Affairs of San Marino.
Mr. Berardi (San Marino) ( spoke in Italian; English text furnished by the delegation): ...
San Marino is closely following developments in the peace process in the Middle East. The decision of the Israeli Government to remove its settlers from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank has been one of the most significant steps in the implementation of the road map and Prime Minister Sharon has showed great courage and determination, despite all domestic difficulties, in taking such a decision.
San Marino shares the hope of the international community that the Palestinian Government will also fully respect its commitments and, by completely rejecting terrorism perpetrated by extremist groups, will maintain and strengthen the dialogue and constructive relations responsibly established with the Israeli Government.
The President : I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Aboudou Soefo, Minister of State, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Cooperation and Francophonie of the Comoros.
Mr. Soefo (Comoros) (spoke in French ): ...
At this very moment, I have a deeply considered thought for all those who have fought for noble causes throughout the world. The brotherly people of Palestine offers a perfect illustration thereof. Indeed, the aspirations of the Palestinian people are those of a nation reclaiming its dignity and security. In the interests of all the peoples of the Middle East, the peace process must continue, because building and maintaining peace is essential to our world. It is critical that a Palestinian State be established and allowed to live in peace, security and stability with the State of Israel and its other neighbours.
My country welcomes Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, a decisive step in the quest for a timely, just and equitable solution to that long drawn-out problem. We are convinced that this gesture augurs well for the region and peoples concerned.
The Acting President (spoke in French ): I now give the floor to Her Excellency Mrs. Fatoumata Kaba-Sidibé, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Guinea.
Mrs. Kaba-Sidibé (Guinea) (spoke in French )...
Concerning the Middle East, our Government welcomes Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. However, we remain concerned by the occupation of the West Bank, the continued illegal construction of the separation wall and the continuing detention of Palestinian political prisoners.
That is why we appeal to the two parties to respect the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and of the Security Council, as well as the Quartet road map. This is the only way to bring about the creation of two States — Palestine and Israel — living side by side in safety and security within secure and recognized boundaries.
The Acting President (spoke in French ): I give the floor to His Excellency Mr. José Ramos-Horta , Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste.
Mr. Ramos-Horta (Timor-Leste): ...
Allow me now to share with the Assembly my Government’s concern on some key international issues — the Middle East, Afghanistan and Iraq.
First, we commend Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for his courage in disengaging from Gaza. We hope that this is only a first step towards the full implementation of the road map leading to the establishment of a democratic Palestinian State. The new Palestinian leaders and people deserve equal praise for their moderation and statesmanship, patience and tolerance.
The Acting President (spoke in French ): I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Klaus Scharioth, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany.
Mr. Scharioth (Germany) ( spoke in German; English text provided by the delegation ): ...
The Middle East still faces great challenges. As its neighbours, we in Europe have a strategic interest in peace and stability in the region. We are convinced that only through reform, the strengthening of democracy and the rule of law can lasting stability be guaranteed. The free and fair parliamentary elections in Palestine and Lebanon are encouraging signs of change.
The Middle East peace process has also gained new momentum over past months. We emphatically welcome the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the northern part of the West Bank. Now it is vital that Israelis, Palestinians and the international community do all they can to lay the foundations for political and economic stability in the Gaza Strip. Efforts should be focused on a two-State solution based on the road map. The objective remains a viable Palestinian State, living side by side with Israel within secure and recognized borders.
The meeting rose at 6.50 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.