video

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

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Question:  Yes.  Let’s start, then, with election campaign in Israel as the backdrop, but Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu saying that he is going to annex settlements in parts of the West Bank and other strategic areas, he says, in the West Bank.  What is the Secretary‑General’s view of this?  What is his view of it in relation to Security Council resolutions on this issue?  And does he think this will be a contribution to peace efforts or detrimental to them?

Spokesman:  Okay.  We’ve seen the statement made by the Prime Minister.  The Secretary‑General’s position has always been clear and consistent:  Unilateral actions are not helpful in the peace process.  Our position today is unchanged and is reflected in relevant UN resolutions.  Any Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied West Bank is without any international legal effect.  I think such a prospect would be devastating to the potential of reviving negotiations, regional peace and the very essence of a two‑State solution.  And we do expect a more formal statement a bit later on this afternoon.

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