Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York


Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.  It is a great pleasure to see you again.  I came back from my six day long trip to China and Mongolia.  I came back yesterday evening.


Q: I am very interested in understanding your position clearly  sir, towards Israel’s demand to get an Arab recognition first and before resuming the peace talks, which is on hold for a long, long time right now, to get Arab recognition of its State as a land for the Jewish people only.  And it implies the Palestinians to get deprived of their right to return, millions of Palestinians, and also to drive out millions of Palestinians out of Israel right now.  So what is your position towards this, and how far do you think this will affect the rights of the Arabs and the Palestinians in the occupied territory?  


SG: On the situation in the Middle East, particularly when it comes to the Israeli and Palestinian relationship, the whole international community holds the view that there should be two States — Israel and a Palestinian [State] — who can live side by side in peace and security.  This is a two-State vision.  And for that [to be] possible, Israel’s right to exist should be recognized by Palestinians and all Arab countries, while I would also support an independent State for Palestinians.  All the countries in the region should be able to live without any fear.  They should be able to live in peace and security.  That’s the basic vision and goal for which the United Nations and the key players have been working very hard.  Currently, the United States Special Envoy, Senator George Mitchell, and other leaders have been actively engaging with Israelis and other Arab countries.  And the United Nations, I myself, have been actively engaging through my participation in the Quartet, through my bilateral [meetings] with Israeli leaders and Arab leaders, including the Palestinian President and the Prime Minister.  This will continue.  It has been six decades long, and we must put an end to this conflict.  This relationship between Palestinians and Israelis, if they can resolve this issue, this will provide a very good impetus to the overall peace and security in the Middle East.  The Arab peace initiative has also been recognized as a cornerstone of this Middle East peace.


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