Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks to the Security Council meeting on the Middle East, in New York today:
The situation in the Middle East is in chaos — to such an extent it has become a threat to international peace and security. The region is facing a true Gordian knot — different fault lines crossing each other and creating a highly volatile situation with risks of escalation, fragmentation and division as far as the eye can see with profound regional and global ramifications.
We see a multiplicity of divides.
Second, the Palestinian-Israeli divide. Third, the Sunni-Shia divide, evident from the Gulf to the Mediterranean. It is important to note that apparent religious divides are normally the result of political or geostrategic manipulations.
Many forms of escalation are possible. We see the wounds of the Palestinian‑Israeli conflict deepening once again. The recent violence in Gaza has resulted in many needless deaths and injuries. I repeat my call for an independent and transparent investigation into these incidents. I also appeal to those concerned to refrain from any act that could lead to further casualties, and in particular, any measures that could place civilians in harm’s way.
This tragedy underlines the urgency of revitalizing the peace process for a two-State solution that will allow Palestinians and Israelis to live in two democratic States side by side in peace and within secure and recognized borders. I reaffirm the United Nations’ readiness to support these efforts.
For information media. Not an official record.
Document Source: Department of Public Information (DPI), Secretary-General, Security Council
Subject: Gaza Strip, Middle East situation, Peace proposals and efforts, Security Council Briefings, Statehood-related
Publication Date: 13/04/2018
URL source: http://www.un.org/press/en/2018/sgsm18986.doc.htm