Peres: "Do not delude the Palestinians into thinking that unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state in the United Nations will lead to the establishment of a state."
(Communicated by the Office of the President of Israel)
President Peres held a working meeting this morning with Dr. Asha Rose Migiro, the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations. The President discussed with her relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the future of the peace process, and other relevant issues pertaining to the U.N. including flotillas to Gaza and the diplomatic agenda in September.
At the start of the meeting the President said that Israel supports the establishment of an independent Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel. But the way to achieve that state is through direct and discreet negotiations. "The differences between the sides are not that great and there is no doubt that those gaps will be closed at the end of the negotiations."
The President also said that the U.N. should not delude the Palestinians into thinking that a unilateral declaration of statehood will lead to the establishment of a state. The U.N. must also address the security needs of Israel especially terror attacks, weapons smuggling, and useless demonstrations which are used as a means of provocation.
With regard to the flotillas Peres said that "international law permits a country to prevent entry of ships that have not been inspected and are suspected of carrying arms, even outside its own territorial waters." The President mentioned that he spoke with Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and requested that he speak loudly and clearly against future flotillas whose purpose is to create a provocation.
Peres said that Israel evacuated Gaza but unfortunately, under Hamas’ leadership, it turned into a terror nest and weapons depot. He said that the Hamas leadership, with a simple decision to adopt the Quartet’s positions, can turn Gaza into a flourishing and open city of peace.
The Deputy Secretary General remarked that her intentions in visiting Israel include increasing cooperation between the UN and Israel. "We appreciate Israel’s efforts in places like Haiti and I have come to thank your country for its efforts to fight poverty," said the Deputy Secretary General. She also stated that the U.N. is committed to working with the international community towards a two-state solution, living side-by-side in peace and security. The Deputy Secretary General also spoke of the United Nations effort to expand its Holocaust awareness programs in an effort to educate and make sure that it does not happen again.