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


GA/10049
14 September 2002

Fifty-seventh General Assembly
Plenary
6th Meeting (AM)

AS GENERAL ASSEMBLY DEBATE CONTINUES, PRESIDENT OF DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
PROPOSES UN GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON GREAT LAKES REGION OF AFRICA

United Kingdom Calls For Return of Inspectors to Iraq;
Germany Urges Comprehensive Solution for Middle East Problem

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Statements

JACK STRAW, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, ...

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People could not be freed from poverty unless they were also free from fear, he continued.  Security was not an option, it was a necessity.  He urged the international community to increase its involvement in the Middle East peace process to secure the outcome of two States living side by side in harmony.  ...

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JOSCHKA FISCHER, Deputy Chancellor and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, ...

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Achieving by 2005 the vision of two recognized and independent States -- Israel and Palestine -- espoused by President Bush, required that the international community pull together.  Along with its European Union partners, Germany was ready to contribute considerably to that process, he said.  The initiative needed should include Lebanon and Syria, he said, noting the progress represented by Saudi Arabia’s willingness to recognize officially the State of Israel.  ...

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FELIPE PEREZ ROQUE, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cuba, ...

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... Turning to the situation in the Middle East, he asked why the world had not seen the same zeal, with which the war in Afghanistan had been unleashed, to seek a just and lasting solution to peace in the Middle East.  That question and others should be answered by those who carried in this hall the responsibility for what was currently happening in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories. 

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YOUSEF BIN ALAWI BIN ABDULLAH, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Oman, reaffirmed his country’s solidarity with the United States in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.  The Middle East was passing through a “perturbed” stage of tension due to the serious regression of the peace process, particularly on the Israeli-Palestinian track.  The deviation of the Israeli Government from the fair principles and foundations on which the peace process had been built during the 1991 Madrid Conference, as well as the desires of successive Israeli Governments since 1996 to impose peace through excessive force, were a far cry from the spirit and letter of the “land for peace” formula. 

He said that situation had further escalated Palestinian resistance by “all factions and forms” in the face of Israeli occupation.  His Government condemned any terrorist act, whatever its motivation, including all acts of violence against innocent civilians, whether on the Palestinian or Israeli side.  Events had proved that the use of force against the Palestinian people would not lead to a fair solution to end the violence and establish security, as the Israeli Government alleged, nor would that end the legal Palestinian resistance against Israeli occupation.  The end of such resistance depended upon the end of the occupation. 

All Arab countries continuously affirmed the achievement of peace based on principles of international law and justice, as a strategic choice, and had exerted great efforts in that regard, he said.  The latest was the Arab peace initiative unanimously adopted during the Beruit Summit in March.  In the context of Security Council resolution 1397 on setting the path for a recognized Palestinian State, he called on the international community and Council members to shoulder their responsibilities in making the Israeli Government respect and implement relevant international resolutions and respond seriously to Arab and international efforts.  He supported Syria’s call to regain its territory of the occupied Golan Heights and its request for an Israeli withdrawal to the line of 4 June 1967.

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ERKKI TUOMIOJA, Foreign Minister of Finland, ...

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While Finland had supported the Palestinian administration's efforts at reform, he said the Palestinians must be given a clear commitment and timetable for the creation of an independent and viable State.  The Palestinian administration had to be given the resources and conditions that would allow it to fulfil the international community's demands.  Without progress in the Middle East peace process, any military action in the region could have dangerous and unforeseen consequences.  It was imperative that efforts to get Iraq to abide unconditionally with Council resolutions remain the responsibility of the United Nations.

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ABUBAKR AL-QIRBI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Yemen, reflected on the costs of international terrorism and suggested the need to convene an international conference on terrorism.  Deploring the violence and terrorism leveled by Israel against the Palestinian people, he said Israel had aborted every peace initiative for the region, and it threatened the region’s security with unprecedented fanaticism.  The international community needed to apply pressure on Israel to withdraw behind the 1967 borders, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions.  The Arab peace initiative constituted an integrated framework for peace, he said, but it could not be realized without Israel’s withdrawal and support of the re-establishment of Palestinian security structures.  The Palestinian people alone had the right to choose their leaders.  The American vision for peace needed to be transformed into a timely programme that laid down guidelines and prevented Israel from circumventing them.  Also, Israel needed to get rid of its nuclear arsenal and open its nuclear facilities for inspection.

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