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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
26 September 2009


General Assembly
GA/10864

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

Sixty-fourth General Assembly
Plenary
9th & 10th Meetings (AM & PM)


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Background

The General Assembly reconvened today to continue its general debate.

Statements

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TUILAEPA SAILELE MALIELEGAOI, Prime Minister of Samoa, ...

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Concluding, he expressed hope that the United States’ effort to relaunch the stalled Middle East peace talks would forge a permanent solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  ...

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PAKALITHA B. MOSISILI, Prime Minister of Lesotho, ...

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He next turned to the plight of the peoples of Palestine, the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and Cuba.  He called on Israel to cease settlement activities and for both sides in that conflict to halt the use of force; ...

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THONGLOUN SISOULITH, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, ...

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He said his country was greatly dismayed by the prolonged conflict in the Middle East, which had inflicted immense suffering on millions of people, particularly the Palestinians.  ...

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AHMED ABOUL GHEIT, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt, speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, ...

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Tensions still ran high in the Middle East, with the question of Palestine still far from resolution, he said.  Over the past year, Israel had shown a lack of necessary political will to engage in serious and credible negotiations.  Intensive work to resume negotiations was needed, and the international community should put forward a formula for the conflict’s final settlement.   Israel’s commitment to a complete freeze in settlement activity -- in parallel with the negotiating track -- should be ensured to bolster Palestinian confidence.  Should a solution on final borders be reached, on the basis of 2008 negotiations, that agreement should be implemented gradually under a time-bound framework, and East Jerusalem should be part of those final talks.  Engagement by Israel in such a serious, credible time-bound negotiating process would restore the situation, with respect to other Arab interactions, to the way they had been in the 1990s.

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NASSER JUDEH, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Jordan, ...

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He noted that one of the Organization’s major achievements had been its pioneering role in eliminating colonization.  However, Israel, since 1967, had occupied territories, which prevented the Palestinian people from self-determination and the creation of their own independent State.  At their 2002 summit, the Arab world had adopted the Arab Peace Initiative, whose principles it had repeatedly reaffirmed.  The two-State solution would provide a just conclusion to the conflict.  However, Israel did not accept the Arab choice and global choice of a just and comprehensive solution.  A good-faith response by Israel was necessary.  Now, with the Administration of United States President Barack Obama, there had been unprecedented support for talks that would benefit the Arabs, Palestinians and Israelis.   Jordan was trying to advance that goal.

Jordan supported the statement made by President Obama to the General Assembly on 23 September, in which he had expressed a firm commitment to the two-State solution and a comprehensive peace.  He had also spoken of the need for a resolution of the refugee question and the illegality of Israeli settlements.  Additionally, he had had set the atmosphere for talks.  The international community should shoulder its responsibility and move to resume negotiations right away.  That constructive climate was disrupted, however, by the Israeli refusal to stop settlement activity in East Jerusalem.  The Israelis were destroying the home of the Arabs and continued to change the demographics of East Jerusalem, the heart of the occupied territories.  It was necessary to stop illegal measures and stop the settlements.  The United Nations had a direct responsibility in that process and could play a larger role in the Quartet.  The Gaza siege should be lifted -- as it was unacceptable and inhumane -- and the area should be rehabilitated.

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TAÏB FASSI FIHRI, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco, ...

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Moving on to issues regarding Arab-Israeli peace, he declared that “the peace process is the only viable option”, and urged that it should be “in conformity with international legality”.  The previous agreements and commitments, such as the Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative were realistic options that reflected a joint Arab will to arrive at a fair and comprehensive solution that ensured Palestinians the right to create their own independent State.  “These efforts will be productive only if the illegal practices of Israel are halted.”

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ABDULLAH BIN ZAYED AL NAHYAN, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, ...

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On the peace process in the Middle East, he expressed disappointment that it had deteriorated, due to continued Israeli aggressions against the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories.  Those aggressions included the blockade imposed on the Palestinian people, particularly in Gaza, the continued confiscation of lands, properties and homes of the Palestinian people and the building of further settlements and separation wall in the occupied territories.  He noted with satisfaction the positive positions expressed by United States President Barack Obama at the General Assembly a few days ago.  He believed that that address contained solid foundation for negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israeli Government.  His country expressed the hope that President Obama would continue following up on that important matter.

He emphasized that the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East required the ending of Israeli occupation of all occupied Arab and Palestinian territories and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State, with Al Quds as its capital, based on the principle of land for peace and in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and resolutions of international legitimacy.

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