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The President (spoke in French): On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome to the United Nations His Excellency Mr. José Ramos-Horta, President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, and to invite him to address the Assembly.
President Ramos-Horta: ...
With respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we commend the Israeli and Palestinian leaders for their renewed dialogue under the auspices of the United States Administration. To those in Palestine who, in spite of decades of suffering and humiliation, have resisted the temptation of extremism and violence, I bow. To those in Israel who have championed the cause of peace and the rights of the Palestinian people, I will say that they represent the very best of the Jewish people — a people who more than anyone else on Earth should understand the suffering and desire of others for freedom.
We urge Hamas to show statesmanship by recognizing the State of Israel. Extremism, fanaticism and indiscriminate violence do harm to the noble Palestinian quest for dignity and freedom. At the same time, we submit that Hamas and Hezbollah are genuine popular movements deeply rooted in the plight of millions of poor, dispossessed, alienated and angry in the Middle East. Labelling them terrorists and refusing to engage and build bridges with such groups is, in our view, not a sound policy.
We urge Israel, a country founded on 5,000 years of history and born of centuries of persecution and war, to show the wisdom and generosity of the Jews by ending the Gaza blockade, allowing unhindered access for humanitarian assistance, and ending the land-grabbing and colonization of the West Bank.
The Acting President (spoke in French): I have great pleasure in welcoming His Excellency Mr. Alik L. Alik, Vice-President of the Federated States of Micronesia, and inviting him to address the General Assembly.
Mr. Alik (Federated States of Micronesia): ...
Peace in the Middle East remains elusive, but we have high hopes that the resumption of direct talks recently in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere between the Israelis and the Palestinians will pave the way to a lasting peace and a final settlement with a two-State solution. The whole world has a stake in the Middle East peace process. Micronesia fully supports the peace process and urges all members of this Assembly to play a constructive role and work towards an outcome that brings permanent peace and security to the Middle East. I want to express my profound gratitude to the United States, Egypt, Jordan and the Quartet for their critical roles and leadership in finding a solution to this formidable challenge. For it to be met, we must respond with our collective action and support.
The Acting President (spoke in French): I now call on His Excellency Mr. Miguel Ángel Moratinos Cuyaubé, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain.
Mr. Moratinos Cuyaubé (Spain) (spoke in Spanish): ...
My country unequivocally supports peaceful and negotiated solutions to all international conflicts, in accordance with United Nations resolutions. Achieving peace in the Middle East remains a strategic priority for Spain. That is why, on the eve of the twentieth anniversary of the Madrid Conference, we continue to work resolutely to ensure that the process of direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians will finally lead to the two-State solution. The Israeli and Palestinian peoples know they can count on all our support at this time, when various thorny issues related to the conflict are being addressed.
In this regard, I add my voice to the appeal made from this very rostrum by the President of the United States for the moratorium on building in the settlements to be maintained. In order to achieve a lasting, fair and comprehensive peace, it is vital to resolve the issues that relate to Syria and Lebanon and to work within a multilateral framework that creates a genuine global coalition for peace in the Middle East.
The Acting President (spoke in French): I now call on His Excellency Mr. Michael Spindelegger, Federal Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria.
Mr. Spindelegger (Austria): ...
Let me now turn to one of the most urgent threats to peace and security. These days, our attention is focused on the recently initiated direct talks between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas. We welcome the leadership and commitment of President Obama, who made this development possible. These talks offer the first concrete prospects for a sustainable peace in the Middle East in many years. An agreement between Israel and Palestine would not only radically improve the lives of the peoples concerned, but would also provide the key to a more stable region and a more peaceful world. We hope that both sides are aware of their enormous responsibilities.
The process is still fragile. We believe that the extension of the settlement moratorium is fundamental to keeping the talks on track and creating an environment in which the core issues can be tackled successfully. It is equally important that the efforts of the Palestinian authorities to build up functioning institutions for a future Palestinian State move forward dynamically. It is ultimately up to the parties to bring the peace process to a positive conclusion. However, international actors, in particular the members of the Quartet, have an important role to play. As a member of the European Union, Austria is ready to fully play its part.
The Acting President (spoke in French): I now call on Her Excellency Ms. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister for International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa.
Ms. Nkoana-Mashabane (South Africa): ...
The United Nations should see Africa as a partner in the maintenance of international peace and the management of conflicts, and accordingly do more to strengthen the working relationship between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council. In this respect, South Africa will continue to support all international efforts to help the people of Palestine and Israel in their endeavour to find lasting peace, leading to the establishment of a viable Palestinian State, on the basis of the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital, existing side by side in peace and security with Israel.
We are at one with the call made by several delegations for the lifting of the embargo on the Republic of Cuba.
We have converged here year after year to make strong statements on Palestine, the embargo on Cuba and the independence of the Western Sahara. The ultimate test of the relevance of the United Nations will therefore be in bringing closure to all these long outstanding issues in a manner that is consistent with our decisions and the collective will of nations represented in this Organization.
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 U-506. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.