20 MAY 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:  Thank you, Stéphane.  Mladenov, in his speech, said that the Quartet should start immediately trying to convene a meeting, and he called on the US, European Union and Russian Federation to work with the UN.  That’s his words.  Does that mean that the SG would take an initiative to try to resume or to try to contact the Quartet or other members of the Quartet for an immediate meeting?

Spokesman:  Abdelhamid, I think it means exactly what… there’s no further meeting than what Mr. Mladenov said in his call on the [inaudible] Quartet.  So, I really have nothing to add to what he said.  When, obviously, we have more to announce, we will.

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Question:  Thank you very much, Steph.  I also had a follow‑up question similar to Abdelhamid’s, basically asking whether the Secretary‑General himself might take the initiative on trying to convene the Quartet, given the urgency that Mr. Mladenov said was needed.

And I had two other follow‑up questions if you want to…

Spokesman:  Sure.  Mr.  Mladenov, I think, was very clear in his urgency of the matter and of the situation.  At this point, I have nothing I’m able to share with you.

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Question:  Hi, Steph.  Thanks very much.  Hope you’re well today.  A question on… are any UN offices or field teams making any sort of preparations that you’re aware of, provided the annexation discussed today at the Security Council moves forward?  Are there any plans being discussed or preparations?

Spokesman:  Well, let me put it this way.  I think all the comments regarding the threat of annexation by Israeli authorities have been very public.  So, we are very well aware of them, and I will leave it at that.

Alan?

Correspondent:  Thank you, Stéphane.  Can you hear me?

Spokesman:  Yep.

Question:  I have a follow‑up on the Middle East Quartet question.  The diplomatic source told to our agency today that such a meeting could be held even this week.  Do you have any signs of such a situation?  Do you have any signs that such a meeting could be really held tomorrow or the day after tomorrow?

And is the SG directly engaged in some kind of negotiations regarding the preparation of such a meeting?  Thank you.

Spokesman:  Mr. Mladenov is our representative… is at the Quartet… at the envoy level, leads our efforts.  I think he was pretty clear in his message calling on the US, the Russian Federation, the European Union, to work with him and others to come forward with proposals that would enable the Quartet to take up its mediation work… role and work jointly with countries to advance the prospect of peace.

At this point, I have nothing I’m able to share with you on a possible date for a Quartet meeting.

Okay.  Abdelhamid, another question.

Question:  Thank you again.  You know how much I pay attention to the language Mladenov gives a speech.

Spokesman:  I’ve noticed.

Question:  Yes.  Today, the British Ambassador mentioned the name of the boy killed.  He said his name is Zeid Qaisiyyia, and his age is 15, and he was shot in the head by the Israelis.

Mr. Mladenov mentioned… he said that a teenager was killed in Fawwar refu… Fawwar, a neighbourhood near Hebron, Fawwar… I don’t know if he said refugee camp or not, but he said Fawwar near Hebron, a teenager was killed.  So, which is… which portrays the accuracy of the incident, the British statement or Mr. Mladenov?

Spokesman:  I can’t speak to the British statement.  I know Mr.  Mladenov had addressed the killing of the young man, I think, in a tweet or in a statement earlier in the week.  I think the framing of how this case is mentioned does in no way show any less caring for the loss of life in this ongoing conflict.

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For information media. Not an official record.