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Source: Secretary-General
3 February 2010



New York, 3 February 2010 - Secretary-General's press encounter after briefing the Security Council on his recent trip to Europe and Africa


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Q: Mr. Secretary-General, welcome back. In advance of your meeting, or interaction, with the General Assembly on Friday, and in light of Israel’s disciplining two of its military, what are your thoughts, what are you planning on saying? Can you give us any idea on how this is going to move forward in terms of these proceedings?

SG: First of all, I am now preparing my report, based on the inputs I received from the Government of Israel, Switzerland and the Palestinian Authority. I am going to submit to General Assembly, as required by the General Assembly resolution 64/10. And I have recently discussed this matter with the authorities of the Israeli Government, and also President [Mahmoud] Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. I am also doing my best to help resume the negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian leadership as soon as possible. That is what I can tell you.

Q: Can I follow-up on this, Mr. Secretary-General? What exactly are you doing to facilitate a return to negotiations? Are you playing a role between the Israelis and the Palestinians? What sort of a role are you playing? And, secondly, on the same answer you just gave, are you going to be, in your report, just satisfied with reporting what the Israelis have said and the Palestinian Authority has said, or will you be doing more? And did you receive any direct feedback from Hamas?

SG: I have been briefing, and my Spokesperson has been briefing on what I have been doing with the parties concerned to help resume the peace process in the Middle East. I will continue to do that. Most recently, I have spoken with Senator [George] Mitchell and President Abbas and Defense Minister [Ehud] Barak. And, as a member of the Quartet, we have been continuously discussing this matter, even in London. Therefore, even though there are not many announcements which I have been making, I am always engaged in this process. As I already said, I am now making this report. I have not received anything from Hamas, but what I have received is from the Palestinian Authority.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, one year after 1860 has been passed in the Security Council, it seems there is deadlock regarding Gaza, even UNRWA hasn’t been reopened or rebuilt. Is there any other thing you can do within the Quartet, or outside the Quartet, that would expedite this process and implement 1860?

SG Again, that has been one of my priorities, to help people in Gaza to have more humanitarian assistance, to have more freedom of movement, and an easing of crossings. And, again, most recently, I have been urging the Israeli authorities to do that. With their payment of $10.5 million for the damages and losses of UN facilities, then again, it would be very important for the Israeli authorities to allow construction material, so that we can go on with the reconstruction and repairs. Again, I have urged I Israeli authorities to allow humanitarian projects of the United Nations as soon as possible, to help to alleviate the suffering of the people living in Gaza. I will continue to do that

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