Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Opening remarks at a press conference with the Saudi Foreign Minister

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), 03 June 2012

Let me begin by thanking the Foreign Minister, His Royal Highness, Prince Saud Al-Faisal for his warm welcome, and his hospitality and his leadership.

I am pleased to be back in Saudi Arabia.

We have just taken part in a meeting of the Advisory Board of the UN Counter Terrorism Centre. I thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its generous support and for hosting this gathering.

The Advisory Board is made up of almost two dozen experts in the field of counter-terrorism. I commend Saudi Arabia for bringing together this wide range of leaders from all regions of the globe.

My visit to Saudi Arabia also provides an opportunity to address a number of issues of regional and global concern.

I discussed many of these matters with the Foreign Minister. I look forward to my meeting tomorrow with His Majesty King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. I thank His Majesty King Abdullah for his visionary leadership and commitment to be able to establish this UN Centre for Counter-Terrorism and for his generous support.

Let me quickly point to three areas.

First, I thanked the Minister for his country’s support to Yemen and its efforts to keep the transition process on track. The situation remains complex and fragile. My Special Adviser Jamal Benomar will remain closely engaged with all sides to support a full inclusive and meaningful national dialogue.

Second, Saudi Arabia is working to advance the Middle East Peace Process, particularly through its significant role on the Arab Peace Initiative, put forward by His Majesty the King. I remain very concerned about the lack of tangible progress between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The status quo is unacceptable and unsustainable. The occupation must end. A two-State solution is long overdue.

Finally, the situation in Syria remains deeply troubling. The world is outraged by the appalling attacks we have seen week after week, month after month.

I once again call on the Government of Syria to uphold its responsibilities and abide by the Annan plan. I urge all members of the international community to use their considerable influence for a peaceful solution.

I commend Saudi Arabia’s support for the League of Arab States’ efforts.

And again I am very much grateful and admire with deepest respect the visionary leadership of His Majesty the King, who has been a strong supporter of the Centre for Counter-Terrorism and all spectrums of the United Nations objectives and goals. I sincerely hope that this second Advisory Board meeting to address counter-terrorism will bear good fruits so that all the people around the world will be able to live without any fear of terrorism, and where all human rights and human dignity will be protected.

Once again, I am pleased to be here. Thank you for this opportunity.