Jerusalem, 17 June 2001

PM Sharon meets with UN Secretary-General Annan
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met yesterday evening in his Jerusalem residence with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The Prime Minister requested to know what steps the Secretary-General was taking to bring about a deployment of Lebanese Army troops along the border with Israel (according to Resolution 425), which have not been implemented till now.

The Prime Minister demanded that the UN take steps in the wake of the Iranian activities to establish a terror center in the form of independent katyusha and rocket units, under full Iranian control in Lebanon, that constitute a significant threat to Israel – in addition to the massive aid to Hizbullah, which today is active in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority areas.

The Prime Minister emphasized that without the full support of Syria, the Iranians could not do this. The Secretary-General, for his part, clarified that the binding border between Israel and Lebanon is the present border (the "blue line"), which was determined by the UN, and that according to the documents held by the UN, the Shabaa farms do not belong to Lebanon.

During the meeting the Prime Minister raised the matter of the POW’s and MIA’s in Lebanon, and the Secretary-General said he would continue his intensive efforts in order to assist in this area.

During the meeting they also discussed the situation following the acceptance of the Mitchell Report and the Tenet Document, and the efforts to implement all their stages. The Prime Minister once again clarified his position and that of the Government of Israel, and said that Israel is committed to peace and is interested in advancing the process, including the meticulous implementation of the Tenet program for the cease-fire, as a first step for implementing the road map of the Mitchell report and all of its stages. The Prime Minister clarified that any progress in the process is first and foremost conditional on a total cessation of the terror, violence and incitement. "Israel will not conduct any negotiations under the pressure of terror and violence," said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister once again emphasized that he is ready to make painful compromises for achieving a true peace, but he and the Government of Israel will not compromise regarding the security of Israeli citizens and the security and existence of Israel.