Peres to UN deputy sec-gen: PA state only by direct talks

Ban’s deputy lauds Israel for battling discrimination.

Peres and Migiro 4311 (photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)
Peres and Migiro 4311
(photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)
Palestinian state will be possible only through direct and discrete negotiations between the sides, President Shimon Peres told UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha Rose Migiro on Sunday.
“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,” Peres said.
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Migiro, who is in Israel primarily to attend the Jubilee Biennial Women’s Leadership conference co-hosted by the Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center and UNESCO, also took the opportunity to meet with several Israeli dignitaries to discuss the possibility of the resumption of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The theme of the conference she is attending is Science, Technology and Innovation: Education and Training for Women and Girls.
In emphasizing the need for the UN resolution to include a guarantee of Israel’s right to live in security, Peres explained that security means how to stop terrorism, and how to stop the smuggling of arms. If the resolution deals only with the security of Israel, he said, the Palestinians won’t be satisfied, and if it relates only to a Palestinian state, the Israelis won’t be satisfied. Therefore the resolution must contain the two components.
Peres also underscored Israel’s right to board ships carrying arms to elements hostile to Israel, even when such vessels are not in Israeli territorial waters. Only if it turns back, does Israel lose its boarding rights, he said.
The presence of flotillas in the area has become a provocation, Peres continued. “Whoever wants to have peace in Gaza, tell them to stop shooting and smuggling arms and to renounce terror.” Israel would like to see that the limitations introduced by the Quartet and by the UN are respected in Gaza, he added.
While aware that UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon wants to be fair to both sides, Peres confessed that Israel is worried, not by anything that the Secretary General might do or say, but by the majority of members of the UN. “We’re worried about the built-in majority against us. We don’t have a chance.
It’s a lost cause,” he said, but noted that not all UN member states are happy about Iran’s policy which seeks to destroy another member state. It goes against the UN Charter, he said.
Peres praised the secretarygeneral for having introduced International Holocaust Remembrance Day and stated that Israel also remembers that it is “a child of the UN from November 1947, when the majority decided to support the creation of an Arab state and a Jewish state.
We accepted it. The Arabs rejected it.”
Peres said that as a responsible member of the UN, Israel calls for a balanced and responsible resolution [in September].
He also voiced Israel’s desire to help the world overcome poverty, disease, dictatorship and corruption, and expressed Israel’s willingness to help the young generation of Arabs to have a better world. He was confident that once there is an agreement on peace and security, other issues will fall into place.
“We are for an independent Palestinian state living in prosperity and democracy,” he said.
Migiro, familiar with Israel from previous visits, said she was happy to be back and reaffirmed the cooperation between the UN and the government and people of Israel.
“We are strong partners,” she said, commending Israel for its commitment to combating poverty and discrimination and for contributing to the development of other countries.
The UN stands committed to working for an internationally agreed upon two state solution with the two states living in peace and security, said Migiro.
Relating to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Migiro, who has visited both Yad Vashem and Auschwitz, said that the UN is working closely with Yad Vashem “to make sure that this chapter in history is not repeated.”