23 April 2020

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

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Can you confirm that the Secretary-General followed, today, a meeting on the Middle East and the question of Palestine and the Security Council?

Spokesman:  No.

Correspondent:  The meeting…

Spokesman:  He’s…  I mean, he knows what Mr. Mladenov said.  You know, the Secretary-General does not attend these meetings.  He is briefed…  he is represented by Mr. Mladenov.  Whether he watched it on the webcast in his office or in residence, I don’t know, but he is…  Not only does he know what Mr. Mladenov was planning to say, because that does not come as a surprise to him, but, as always, he will get a recap of the meeting from his political staff.

Correspondent:  I followed the meeting, Mr. Stéphane.  Mr. Mladenov mentioned this disagreement between the two parties in Israel and about annexing more land on 1 July.  However, he just mentioned the old rhetoric of that — violation of international law and a unilateral decision which will jeopardize peace process and a two-State solution.

But there was no clear-cut position that this should be stopped and condemned.  The word, the “rejection” of this plan, has not been expressed explicitly.

Spokesman:  I…  well, you know, you and I will have to live with our differences on this.  Even though the rhetoric, as you say, you consider it old, I think Mr. Mladenov could not have been more direct and clear as to the risks of what would happen if the annexation went through.

/…

For information media. Not an official record.