The Secretary-General met today in Jerusalem with a number of Israeli leaders, including the President, the Prime Minister, Justice Minister and Defence Minister.
The Secretary-General first met with the President of the State of Israel, H.E. Mr. Shimon Peres. They discussed the status of the Middle East peace process and other regional developments. The Secretary-General welcomed the start of direct negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators. He stressed the need for positive actions on the ground to contribute to an environment conducive to successful negotiations.
The Secretary-General also met the Prime Minister, H.E. Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu. They discussed the start of direct negotiations. He expressed hope that these meetings will lead to a peaceful settlement and a two-state solution. He praised the Prime Minister for the courageous confidence-building measure regarding Palestinian prisoners and encouraged similar measures to contribute to creating a conducive environment for progress. He also stressed the need for further measures to ease the closure of the Gaza Strip in line with Security Council resolution 1860 (2009).
The Secretary-General and Prime Minister Netanyahu also discussed other regional developments, including Syria and Iran’s nuclear issue.
In his meeting with the Justice Minister and Chief Negotiator in the Israeli-Palestinians peace talks, Ms. Tzipi Livni, the Secretary-General expressed his strong support for the resumption of credible negotiations to achieve the two-state solution and his appreciation for the recent courageous decision of the Prime Minister in this regard.
The Secretary-General met with the Minister of Defence, Mr. Moshe Yaalon. They discussed the status of the Middle East peace process and other regional security developments.
The Secretary-General also had a meeting late on Thursday with the Speaker of the Knesset, Mr. Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, to exchange views. Today, he had a similar meeting with the Leader of the Opposition, Ms. Shelly Yachimovich.