15 SEPTEMBER 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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Questions and Answers

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Question:  Yes, Steph, I have some questions on Libya.  There are reports that the new UN envoy for Libya will be Mr. Nickolay Mladenov.  Can you confirm that he is going to take that job?

Spokesman:  No.  That’s the short answer.  The longer answer, as always, when there is jockeying for… well, when there are posts open, there are all sorts of rumours flying around.  I think we have to wait for the usual procedure to take place.

What I can tell you is that Ms. Stephanie Williams remains and actively remains the acting SRSG (Special Representative of the Secretary-General), and there will not be a leadership vacuum at the head of the Mission.

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Question:  Yes.  Thank you, Stéphane.  And good to see you again.  What’s your comment or the Secretary‑General’s comment on the signing of new agreements or treaties between Israel and Arab countries in Washington today, please?

Spokesman:  Well, I mean, I think, for the Secretary‑General, I think it’s been very clear that he hopes these agreements will enable the Palestinians and the Israelis to renew negotiations.  He also hopes, obviously, it will be a new opportunity to develop regional stability in the Gulf.  And I would also refer you to the statements he’s made about the issue related to annexation.

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Question:  Thank you, Stéphane.  And going back to Nabil’s question, how could the SG interpret this agreement as opening new opportunities for middle… peace in the Middle East?  When this agreement involved in Israel to expedite annexation, threatened the Palestinian that there will be no Palestinian State, and even [Benjamin] Netanyahu, before he departed to Washington, threatened that he will throw out the Palestinians who came after 1993 Oslo Agreement to make peace with Israel, and he said he could send them back out of the country.

So, don’t you see that this agreement will embolden Israel and will increase its aggressiveness against the Palestinians?

Spokesman:  For the Secretary‑General, he continues to hope that Israelis, the Palestinian leaders will re‑engage in meaningful negotiations, that will end the occupation, that will realize a two‑State solution in line with all the UN resolutions.  That is, for the Secretary‑General, the only path forward.

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For information media. Not an official record.