FM Silvan Shalom met in New York with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, completing a round of meetings with the members of the Quartet before their planned meeting.
(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Spokesman)
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom met in New York Wednesday with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, thereby completing a round of meetings with the members of the Quartet before their session Wednesday night.
Minister Shalom asked the secretary-general to lead the member nations of the UN in a united effort to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Sec.-Gen. Annan predicted that, if the Iranians do not fulfill their obligations, the issue would be submitted to the Security Council in November.
With regard to Syria, Shalom said that cosmetic changes in the deployment of Syrian forces in Lebanon do not represent an implementation of the Security Council’s desire for an end to the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. Shalom added that Israel is interested in true peace with Syria, and is waiting for the moment when Syria shall come to the negotiating table without terrorism and with a genuine desire for reconciliation.
Minister Shalom noted Wednesday’s suicide bombing in Jerusalem’s French Hill neighborhood, saying, "To our regret, this is a further proof that the Palestinians are continuing to employ terrorism and to encourage it, instead of preventing it." Shalom called for the General Assembly to condemn the Palestinians for this continuation of terrorism.
Minister Shalom also met Wednesday with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamed Bin Jassim Bin Jabr al-Thani. The two agreed on the sending of senior religious representatives to an inter-religious conference on religious tolerance in Doha in March 2005.