Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING BY THE OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Farhan Haq, Associate Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
**Questions and Answers
Question: Farhan, yesterday, Hamas, at the conference, Hamas basically said that the Palestinians who were there in Annapolis, that they were represented by somebody who was not a representative of the Palestinian people and they basically rejected the… any findings of the… I mean any conclusions of the conference. Would the Secretary-General, in his capacity as the Secretary-General, make any effort to bring Hamas back into the fold so that a comprehensive peace can be reached over there?
Associate Spokesperson: The Secretary-General, in the comments that he made in Annapolis yesterday, did point to the need to, in particular, to deal with the situation in Gaza, and that also includes dealing with, obviously, dealing with an area that is currently under the control of Hamas. At the same time, you have to understand that President Abbas is the elected President of the Palestinian Authority. We continue to deal with him, and we have encouraged the process between President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert, including, of course, the meeting that took place in Annapolis and the agreements that they had reached that were announce there. You’ve seen from what the Secretary-General said that the UN is committed to continuing to support that process. Certainly we hope that all parties will try to involve themselves in this process and that it will expand further from there.
Question: Before this conference, they’re saying the release, about the 400 Palestinians. Originally there were like 12,000 Palestinians, didn’t they say, have been jailed by [inaudible]? Do you have any information about how many Palestinians now in jail again?
Question: Tony Blair has taken a leadership position with the Quartet. Did the Secretary-General have any one-on-one discussions, and can you characterize any of those that might have happened yesterday?
Associate Spokesperson: With…
Question: With Tony Blair?
Associate Spokesperson: With Mr. Blair? No, he was not able to meet bilaterally with Mr. Blair yesterday. Yes?
Question: I just want [inaudible] yesterday, in the speech of the Secretary-General in Annapolis did not refer to resolution 242 and 238 as the basis for a resolution of the Palestinian… Israeli-Palestinian crisis…
Associate Spokesperson: He referred to a number of resolutions…
Question: 238 and 242.
Associate Spokesperson: …including 242. No, no he did. He referred to a number of resolutions, including 242. Those remain the basis for dealing with the situation. Yes?
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For information media • not an official record