29 August 2017

Opening remarks at press conference with Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah of the State of Palestine

António Guterres

Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister, for your words and for your warm reception here in Ramallah.
I want to express very strongly the total commitment of the United Nations, and my personal total commitment, to do everything for a two-state solution to the materialize. I’ve said several times that there is no plan B to the two-state solution.
A two-state solution that will end the occupation and, with the creation of conditions, also the suffering even to the Palestinian people, is in my opinion the only way to guarantee that peace is established and, at the same time, that two states can live together in security and in mutual recognition, and we do everything we can to work in that direction.
That means, naturally, that it is important to remove the obstacles for that solution to be implemented. We recognize that the settlement activity that, as I’ve said several times, is illegal under international law, that the settlement activity is an obstacle that needs to be removed in relation to the possibility of two-state solution to be adequately implemented.
Of course, there are more difficulties, more obstacles. It’s important to create the conditions for leaders on both sides to appeal for calm, to avoid forms of incitement, for violence to settle down… There are many things that need to be done, but obviously, the settlement activities represent a major obstacle in relation to the implementation of the two-state solution.
It is my deep belief that it is essential to restart a serious and credible political process of negotiation aiming at that objective – the two-state solution – as it is also important to create conditions on the ground to improve the situation of Palestinian populations. But it is also important to recognize that improvements of economic and social nature and mobility on the ground are not a replacement for the two-state solution or for the serious political process of the negotiation. They are just a necessary complement of these negotiations to strengthen its viability and to make sure that there is a peace dividend felt by populations that help enhance also the commitment of populations in relation to peace.
I would also like to say that we remain very concerned with the humanitarian situation in Gaza. We are totally committed to support UNRWA’a activity as well as the activities of reconstruction that are taking place in Gaza. We will do also everything possible to support the effort that President Abbas is making in order to create conditions for a unified leadership both in West Bank and Gaza, with the dialogue for peace behind it. I want to express also my wishes of the best success in all your efforts to improving the governance, improving the action that you have been undertaking with us, Prime Minister, to the benefit of the people of Palestine.