BAN KI-MOON OFFERS CAUTIOUS ENCOURAGEMENT TO PALESTINIAN NATIONAL UNITY GOVERNMENT
BY MICHELE MONTAS
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon views the establishment of the new government of Palestine as an important and positive step forward, and he wants to encourage that process. At the same time, he has expressed disappointment because he would like to see the program of the National Unity Government fully reflect Quartet principles.
He will be watching very carefully the new Government's actions and hopes to see further positive movement in that direction.
Asked why a clarification was required for the Secretary-General's comment on the new Palestinian Government of National Unity, the Spokesperson said that this was in response to some media reports incompletely quoting the Secretary-General as expressing disappointment at the government.
She added that the Secretary-General was watching very carefully the new government's actions and would like to see positive developments in that direction. She said that he would like to encourage that process. His disappointment, she added, referred to the fact that the programme of the new government appeared not to reflect the principles of the Middle East Quartet.
Asked to explain the reasons for the delay in issuing a Quartet statement as announced at yesterday's briefing, Montas said that some among the Quartet Principals were discussing the terms of the statement, which explains why the statement has not yet been released.
Asked what the new Palestinian government was expected to do in order to win broad international recognition and legitimacy, Montas replied that the Quartet Principals, including the Secretary-General, expect the government to accept the Quartet's clearly stated principles.