Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
PRESS CONFERENCE BY SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON AT UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS
Following is a transcript of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s press conference held in New York today, 6 October:
Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. It's a great pleasure to see you again. I think we are meeting quite often these days.
On the Middle East, we had a timely meeting of the Quartet together with the League of Arab States Follow-up Committee members.
In recent days I have spoken with principal players on each side, including Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, as well as U.S. special envoy George Mitchell.
All told me that they were committed to finding solutions to the problems immediately before us. All want to keep the peace process going.
As you know, I had a good meeting this morning with the opposition leader of Israel, Ms. [Tzipi] Livni. I urge Israel to restore settlement restraint, under its Roadmap obligations, and I urge Arab leaders meeting in Sirte this week to keep doors open and support President Abbas.
Negotiations should move forward intensively, focused on resolving core issues – not talks for the sake of talks.
Question: Mr. Secretary-General, about the Middle East, in the last few months, you met Mr. [Ehud] Barak, Mr. [Benjamin] Netanyahu, and Mr. [Avigdor] Liberman, and today, Mrs. [Tzipi] Livni, and you have probably heard a lot of different ideas about the peace process. Do you believe that these different approaches affect the peace process in a negative way or a positive way? And when do you expect the Israeli side to submit its report on the flotilla incident? Thank you.
Secretary-General: Again, I urge the Israelis to expedite their domestic investigation process and submit the report as soon as possible, so that the Panel members could review and liaise between the Turkish investigation and the Israeli investigation, so that they will be able to have their own judgement. Again, I expressed my strong hope to Mrs. Livni, even though she is the opposition leader, and that is what I have been speaking to Prime Minister Netanyahu – I think last week when we were talking about these settlement issues. The second issue was that particular issue.
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For information media • not an official record