World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Terrorism Is Key Issue in Middle East, U.S. Says


Terrorism Is Key Issue in Middle East, U.S. Says

Vetoes U.N. resolution that does not call for action against terrorist groups

By Judy Aita
Washington File United Nations Correspondent

United Nations -- The United States vetoed a Security Council resolution on the Middle East September 16 because the draft did not include an "explicit condemnation of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade as organizations responsible for acts of terrorism" or call for decisive action against them, U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said.

The Security Council action was requested by the Arab Group of States at the United Nations in response to Israel's threat to expel Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat. During negotiations, Negroponte made very clear that the United States does not support Israel's threats against Arafat, but felt that the issue of terrorism must be dealt with more forcefully in the draft text.

Negroponte said that the United States had signaled to the media and several Arab states, especially Syria, which was handling the negotiations inside the council, that the U.S. would veto the resolution without the terrorism references. But no serious effort was made to modify the text, he said.

The draft, sponsored by Pakistan, South Africa, Sudan, and Syria, received 11 votes in favor. The United Kingdom, Bulgaria, and Germany abstained.

"While all parties have responsibilities in bringing peace to the Middle East, ending terrorism must be the highest priority," Negroponte said after the vote.

"The resolution put forward today was flawed in that it failed to include the following three elements: a robust condemnation of acts of terrorism; an explicit condemnation of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade as organizations responsible for acts of terrorism; and a call for the dismantlement of infrastructure which supports these terror operations wherever located consistent with resolution 1373," the ambassador said.

"This resolution did not take a clear stand against the actions of these terrorist groups or call for decisive actions against them," Negroponte said.

"Palestinian terrorism has been an obstacle to carrying out the peace process and the road map every single step of the way and that simply has to stop if there is to be progress," the ambassador said.

The draft resolution demanded the complete cessation of all acts of violence, demanded that Israel desist from any act of deportation and cease any threat to the safety of Arafat, expressed the council's full support for the efforts of the Quartet [the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia, working together to further the Middle East peace process], and called for increased efforts to implement the road map.

Speaking with journalists after the vote, Negroponte called the resolution "lopsided" and said that "we think this resolution wasn't going to add anything constructive to the advancement of peace in the Middle East."

"There is a road map for peace in the Middle East. It contains all of these elements -- the requirement for an end to terrorist acts, the requirement for reciprocal steps to be taken by both sides. It's all in the road map. That's what we ought to focus our attention on," the ambassador said.

Negroponte pointed out that the Quartet will be meeting in New York City the week of September 23 during the opening of the General Assembly. "We think that's the way to go," he said.

"We have no choice but to try and go forward. There is a road map for peace. It ought to be followed," Negroponte said.

The ambassador also emphasized that the veto was in no way acceptance of Israel's position on Arafat.

"Secretary of State [Colin] Powell stated that the United States does not support either the elimination of Mr. Arafat or his forced exile. While Mr. Arafat is part of the problem, we believe that this problem is best solved through diplomatic isolation," Negroponte said.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news