Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
PRESS CONFERENCE BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT ON WORK PROGRAMME FOR SEPTEMBER
President Michel Suleiman of Lebanon would preside over a meeting on conflict prevention, scheduled for 22 September, Mr. Salam said during the monthly press conference on the Council’s programme of work. Positive replies to invitations had been received by high-level officials of other countries, although the United States had not yet signalled its representation, he said, adding that a presidential statement on the subject was expected.
To a question about the possibility of a Palestinian request for United Nations membership being presented to the Council in September, Mr. Salam said that was not on the work programme adopted this morning. No request had so far been submitted to the Secretary-General, who would refer it to the Council, he added.
Asked his country’s position on Palestinian membership, he said it was well known that Lebanon supported fully Palestine’s quest for recognition as an Observer State in the General Assembly, if it so chose, and for full membership if it submitted a request to the Secretary-General. Like the majority of Member States, Lebanon already recognized the State of Palestine declared in 1988.
He went on to say that Palestine met all the criteria for a State, although it was occupied. It had called for the international community to join together to end the occupation and help Palestine gain independence. The fact that its borders had not yet been agreed upon did not rule out recognition, since many recognized States were embroiled in border disputes, he said.
Mr. Salam declined to comment on the flotilla investigation report, saying he had not read it. As Council President, he would consult with other members and decide what course the body should pursue, if any, after the report was released.
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For information media • not an official record