15 JUNE 2021

The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

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Questions and Answers

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Question:  Oh, thank you, Stéphane.  I am reading the tweet by Mr. Tor [Wennesland].  He wrote today, “Tensions are rising again in Jerusalem.”  “Tension are rising.” I want to ask you, does tension rise by itself?  How does tension rise?  How does it rise?

Spokesman:  [inaudible]…

Question:  Can’t hear you.

Spokesman:  …that we have almost every day is the highlight of this briefing for me, but I’m not going to get into the linguistics.  I think we all know very well what Mr. Wennesland means.

Mr. Wennesland is concerned at the fact that we have a ceasefire that is not that old.  We need to do…  the parties need to do everything possible to try to avoid provocation, to try to avoid tensions rising in order to solidify the end of this current cycle of violence, and he was expressing his concern in that regard.

Question:  So, he also continues to say about provocations and urge all relevant parties to act responsibly and avoid any provocations.  Is the mar… Israeli Flag Day march is a kind of provocation or not?  Who is “provocating” and who…

Spokesman:  I think Mr. Wennesland’s tweet speaks for himself.  If we have anything more to say on today events, I will share that with you.

Question:  When he puts both sides, Stéphane, the occupier and occupied, on the same footing, is that fair?  That’s my question.  Anyone who reads this message, he will think that there are two equal parties.  [cross talk]

Spokesman:  If you want… nobody’s asking you to read it that way.  What is clear is that we have an area in which there are tensions, in which there are… we’ve seen very violent conflict not too long ago, where there’s always a risk of conflict.  And what is important is that those who have the power to make things better or to make things worse exercise that power responsibly in order to make things better.

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For information media. Not an official record.