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UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


GA/9766
14 September 2000

Fifty-fifth General Assembly
Plenary
15th Meeting (PM)

ASSEMBLY, CONTINUING GENERAL DEBATE, DISCUSSES PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS

IN ARMED CONFLICT, ROLE OF PRIVATE SECTOR IN WORLD AFFAIRS


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Addressing the Middle East peace process, Abdul-Ilah EL-Khatib, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Jordan, said the recent Camp David Summit had enabled the parties to narrow the gap that separated their positions. The issue of Jerusalem must be solved on the basis that East Jerusalem was a Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 to which Security Council resolution 242 (1967) applied. It should be under Palestinian sovereignty so that it would become the capital of an independent State of Palestine. Arab and Muslim rights in the Islamic and Christian Holy Places in Jerusalem must be preserved.

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ABDELAZIZ BELKHADEM, Minister of State and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Algeria, said ... While the Middle East region had seen progress lately, there could be no meaningful peace without the total withdrawal of Israeli forces from Palestinian territories and the Syrian Golan.

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PETRE ROMAN, Minister for State and Foreign Affairs of Romania, said ... In both the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula, ongoing diplomacy offered hope for solutions, he said. For his delegation it was obvious that diplomacy could be successful if based on the profound configuration of human realities and the fundamental aspiration of ordinary people to a peaceful and decent life.

ABDEL-ILAH EL-KHATIB, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Jordan, said ... Despite the failure of the recent Camp David Summit to reach an agreement between Palestinians and Israelis, it had enabled the parties to narrow the gap that separated their positions. The issue of Jerusalem must be solved on the basis that East Jerusalem was a Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 to which Security Council resolution 242 (1967) applied. It should be under Palestinian sovereignty so that it would become the capital of the independent State of Palestine. Arab and Muslim rights in the Islamic and Christian Holy Places in Jerusalem must be preserved. In no way could Israeli sovereignty over those holy places be accepted. The spiritual and religious importance of Jerusalem made it imperative that it should be an open city where the freedom of worship and access to the Holy Places were guaranteed for all believers in God.

Over 1.5 million refugees were living in Jordan, he said. The Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty provided that the solution of the refugee question must be based on international law and that it should be dealt with bilaterally and otherwise in line with the permanent status negotiations. The rights of refugees to return and to compensation and the rights of Jordan under international law took precedence over other considerations. The position of the refugees in Jordan would be a vital key to the success of any settlement reached.

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