Statements by PM Netanyahu and UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon prior to their meeting


Photo: GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: I’m very glad to see you, Secretary. It’s a pleasure to welcome you again in Jerusalem. We have many important things to discuss. The UN has been our very important partner, and now most recently in the great humanitarian effort in Haiti.

Of course, you’re discussing the resolutions on Iran, which I hope to discuss with you; the problem of Lebanon and preventing Hizbullah from contravening Resolution 1701; our efforts to achieving peace with the Palestinians; and our efforts also to return our kidnapped soldier, Gilad Shalit.
You’ve been trying to help with many of these things, and I appreciate it and I look forward to discussing these and other issues with you. So welcome.
Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon: Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister. Thank you for your warm welcome.
I think my visit is taking place at a crucially important junction when you are about to begin proximity talks with the Palestinian Authority. The Quartet has strongly welcomed and supported these proximity talks. We believe that these proximity talks should eventually lead to direct negotiations between the two concerned parties, discussing on all the matters: your security, borders and refugees, and all other issues. That’s the whole vision of your country and the international community.
As the Secretary General of the United Nations and as a member of the Quartet, I will spare no efforts to strongly support and encourage negotiations. For that purpose, I’m going to report to the Security Council about the result of this Quartet meeting and about my visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
I’m going to participate in the Arab League summit meeting. I will try to encourage the Arab leaders to support and encourage these proximity talks. This is not only in the interest of Palestine and the Israeli people, but in the interest of the region and in the interest of the whole international community. You can count on me.
We have many other issues, regional issues. The regional dynamics are sometimes very much narrowly acting. We really hope to have strong support and active and constructive contribution of all the parties in the region. I would like to discuss all these issues, including the Iranian nuclear issues. I know that this is at the core heart of your concern, but this is not only the concern of Israel. This is the concern of the whole international community.
As the Secretary General, I am very closely coordinated with the member-states, particularly with the Security Council, to have a resolution of this issue.
I’d like to take this opportunity to finally appreciate, on behalf of the United Nations, your generous and swift support for the Haitian people. You demonstrated great humanity and it was widely respected and appreciated. I met some of your people who participated in the field hospital and the search-and-rescue team, and it’s very noble. I really hope that Israel will expand the scope of your horizons of participating in the international community’s development and humanitarian support. That’s my commitment.
I just came back from my trip to Gaza, and thank you very much for approving the United Nations humanitarian project to build 150 housing units in Khan Yunis, classrooms and many other humanitarian projects. It’s a very positive and welcome first step, but I believe that we need to do more. So I’d like to discuss all of this and count on your support and am very much appreciative of the genuine security concerns of Israel. You long for peace with real security. We will support your genuine peace with real security. That’s my commitment as Secretary General. Thank you very much.