Excerpts from Press Stakeout with Foreign Minister Ben-Ami following his meeting with the Foreign Minister of Guatemala

Jerusalem, 26 November 2000


 Press Stakeout with FM Ben-Ami following his meeting with the Foreign Minister of Guatemala-26-Nov-2000
Photo: ALLPIX/Gil Hadani 
 Press Stakeout with FM Ben-Ami following his meeting with the Foreign Minister of Guatemala-26-Nov-2000

I expressed to my colleague from Guatemala a sense of hope that we will be able to get out of the current impasse in order to establish the ground for moving to a more civilized dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. I trust that this is possible.

It is our intention to change the trend of events. This cycle of violence, where Palestinians perpetrate an act of terrorism or shoot and Israel responds, will lead nowhere. It is our intention to change this trend. Therefore, we would like to create the conditions for proceeding to more civilized contact between Israelis and Palestinians.

Essentially we believe that this is an Israeli-Palestinian crisis that can be solved between Israelis and Palestinians. Different players can have a friendly influence, friendly leverage, can play here and there a role, can advance ideas. We never ruled out this kind of ideas, we are not deaf to good intentions.

With regard to mediation, everybody knows, including the E.U. members and the Russians, that it is the Americans who are to lead any international effort for mediation. I spent a day in Marseilles recently, in the meeting of the European and Mediterranean ministers, and the French Presidency said quite clearly, that any E.U. involvement would have to be conducted under American leadership.

My trip to Moscow is not in order to look for new mediators in this process. Since we are in friendly relations with the Russians, and they have shown a keep interest in the situation in the region, I feel that it is important for us to compare notes with the Russians, and indeed with other sets of players; I’ll be going to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, which is going to be the next president of the E.U. So essentially the purpose is to compare notes with international players who have an interest in regional stability.

We placed a complaint with the Security Council of the UN against the Lebanese government for the activities of Hizbullah against our forces in the Shaba region.* As you may know, in the report of the Secretary-General after Israeli’s pullout from Lebanon, he certified that Israeli has abided by Security Council Resolution 425. Therefore, everything that was done with regard to Israeli’s pullout was done in full coordination with the Security Council. Therefore, we think that it is up to the UN to make it clear to the Lebanese government, that this is a breach of 425, and we expect the support of the international community, and, indeed, of the Security Council.

* (St.-Sgt. Khalil Taher, 27, of Acre, was killed yesterday (Nov 26) when a roadside bomb exploded about a kilometer south of the UN-delineated international border with Lebanon. Two other soldiers were injured. Hizbullah claimed responsibility for the bombing.)    

 Press Stakeout with FM Ben-Ami following his meeting with the Foreign Minister of Guatemala-26-Nov-2000
 Press Stakeout with FM Ben-Ami following his meeting with the Foreign Minister of Guatemala-26-Nov-2000
Outbreak of Violence in Jerusalem and the Territories – Sept/Oct 2000