1 DECEMBER 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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Palestinian People

Earlier today, the Secretary-General spoke at today’s session to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.  He said that he had a deep sense of worry about the grim realities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the diminishing prospects of resolving the conflict.  Meanwhile, he warned, the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the already dire humanitarian and socioeconomic situation.

The Secretary-General said that he hopes that recent developments will encourage Palestinian and Israeli leaders to re-engage in meaningful negotiations, with the support of the international community, towards a two-State solution, and will create opportunities for regional cooperation.  Only a two-State solution that realizes the legitimate national aspirations of Palestinians and Israelis can lead to sustainable peace, he added.

He also mentioned, called on Member States to provide the necessary resources to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East), to continue delivering its vital services to millions of Palestine refugees.

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Questions and Answers

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Question:  My second question, Stéphane, recently, I asked you about a prospect of a visit by US Secretary of State [Michael] Pompeo to a settlement.  In fact, he did, he visited the settlement of Psagot, near Ramallah, and it was like a statement, a statement by the US recognizing settlements as part of Israel.  And I expected also a comment afterward, because you said we had no comment on a visit that didn’t happen, but the visit did happen.  Do you have anything to say about it?

Spokesman:  Our comment is just to reiterate our position, again, on the illegality of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  That’s…  you will…  you can do the analysis and the compare‑and‑contrast.  This is our position.

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For information media. Not an official record.