17 AUGUST 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.  I have two questions.  First, in a Tweet by Mr. [Nickolay] Mladenov, where he said he welcomes the agreement between United Arab Emirates and Israel and he said it stopped the annexation — that what he wrote, “stopped” — first, it’s an in… completely inaccurate to describe the agreement that it would stop the annexation.  And, second, neither Israel said that nor the United Arab Emirates.  The United Arab Emirates retreated from mentioning the annexation to say that we are a sovereign country, and we can decide what we want to decide.  So, he… it’s… I mean, he trying to portray the agreement as something focusing on stopping the annexation…

Spokesman:  I mean, I…

[cross talk]

Question:  … is inaccurate.

Spokesman:  All I can tell you is we stand by the Secretary‑General’s own statement and Mr. Mladenov’s Tweet.

Question:  But we have been trying, Stéphane, to… I sent you messages.  Ibtisam ask you the same, and you continue to portray the agreement as if it’s intentionally directed to stop the annexation, which is inaccurate.

Spokesman:  I… we…

Question:  Yeah.

Spokesman:  I don’t think…

[cross talk]

Question:  Can you explain that?

Spokesman:  … the statement said it was intentionally directed to that.  This is what we have taken away from it, and I will leave it at that.

Question:  Well, don’t you have the courage to revisit the statement and say, ‘Oh, we mentioned that, but, however, it has been rec… corrected by both parties, not by one…’

Spokesman:  It’s not an issue of courage.  If we need to restate our position, we will.

What is your second question?

Question:  My second question, on Saturday evening, near the city of Tulkarm, near the checkpoint of Jabara, J‑a‑b‑a‑r‑a, a young Palestinian — his name is [inaudible] — was run by a settler and killed at the checkpoint.  And no mention of that crime against a civilian, who was, just happened to be at the checkpoint.  And the settler who killed him, and no mention of that.  I tried to find any reference to this crime similar to that girl who was killed in her house, and no mentioning.

Spokesman:  I…

[cross talk]

Question:  If the incident happened the other way around, it will be different situation altogether.

Spokesman:  I’ve seen the… those press reports.  Let me look into it with our colleagues, and I will get back to you.

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For information media. Not an official record.