29 JUNE 2020

The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

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Questions and Answers

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Question:  Okay.  My second question is that Israel’s defence minister said, a little while ago, that annexation of the West Bank will wait, citing the COVID‑19 pandemic.  Does the Secretary‑General have any comment on that?

Spokesman:  Look, the comment that we have is basically what the Secretary‑General has already said, is speaking very clearly against any annexation and against any unilateral move.  We are, obviously, in touch with all the parties.  Mr. [Nickolay] Mladenov is on top of the situation, but our position is unchanged.  Abdelhamid, go ahead.

Question:  Thank you, Stéphane.  It’s a follow‑up to Edith’s question.  Mr. Mladenov has been shuttling between Ramallah and Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and in contact with people in Gaza.  So, can you update us on his activity?  What is he trying to achieve at this very last moment before the annexation supposedly starts on 1 July?

Spokesman:  Anything we could do to avoid the annexation, obviously, would be a positive step.  He’s also clearly working, as he said and as the Secretary‑General said, on moving in the right direction, which we’d hope would also involve a meeting of the Quartet with… including the… obviously, the two parties but also the neighbouring countries.

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For information media. Not an official record.