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Syria Resolution on Mideast Will Not Promote Peace


U.S. Says Syria's Proposed Resolution on Mideast Will Not Promote Peace

Negroponte's remarks to the Security Council Oct 14

Rejecting a Syrian proposed Security Council resolution on the Israeli security fence in the occupied territories, U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said October 14 that such a resolution does not further the goals of peace and security in the region.

Speaking during a Security Council debate on the construction of the Israeli fence, Negroponte said that senior U.S. officials are engaging directly with Israel on the issue of the security fence.

The ambassador quoted National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, who said recently: "This wall is not really consistent with our view of what the Middle East will one day have to look like, two states living side-by-side in peace. We understand the Israelis have security concerns; it is extremely important, if it is going to be built, that it not intrude on the lives of Palestinians, and most importantly that it not look as if it's trying to prejudge the outcome of a peace agreement."

Negroponte said the United States will continue to work toward the vision of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and intensely encourage Israel and the Palestinian Authority to take concrete steps towards the implementation of the roadmap.

Following is a transcript of Negroponte's remarks:

USUN PRESS RELEASE #169 (03)
October 14, 2003

Statement by Ambassador John D. Negroponte, United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, in his National Capacity, on the Situation in the Middle East, in the Security Council, October 14, 2003

I am now going to make a statement in my national capacity.

The United States has engaged intensively to encourage Israel and the Palestinian Authority to take concrete steps towards the implementation of a roadmap to peace that has broad support within the international community and the United Nations.

We are not as far along in this process as we had hoped, largely due to the destructive impact of terrorist bombings and the failure to dismantle the organizations and infrastructure that encourage these acts. Just ten days ago, a suicide bomber killed 20 innocent people in Haifa.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad took responsibility for that attack. Terrorist groups such as Islamic Jihad, Hamas, or the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade prevent peace and hijack any prospects for real dialogue. We have noted repeatedly that Israel has the right to defend herself against these insidious attacks.

In our view, all parties have responsibilities to bring peace to the Middle East, and ending terrorism must be the highest priority. Any resolution concerning the Middle East must take into account the larger picture, that of the current security situation, including the devastating suicide attacks that Israelis have had to endure over the past three years. This is the broader context for the debate we are holding today.

United States views on the construction of the Israeli fence have been clear. As National Security Advisor Rice said recently, "This wall is not really consistent with our view of what the Middle East will one day have to look like, two states living side-by-side in peace. We understand the Israelis have security concerns; it is extremely important, if it is going to be built, that it not intrude on the lives of Palestinians, and most importantly that it not look as if it's trying to prejudge the outcome of a peace agreement."

We have urged Israel to consider carefully the consequences of its actions. In addition, senior United States Administration officials are engaging directly with Israel on the matter of the fence. We do not believe a Security Council resolution focused on the fence furthers the goals of peace and security in the region. We also urge both parties to avoid actions that exacerbate the situation.

For its part, the United States, along with Quartet partners, will continue to work toward the implementation of President Bush's vision of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as set forth in the roadmap. Our diplomatic personnel, including Secretary of State Powell, Ambassador John Wolf, and our missions in the region, are actively involved with both parties at the highest levels. We remain committed to the roadmap as the way forward toward the overarching goal of the Israeli and Palestinian people living side-by-side in peace and security.

And now I will resume my function as President of the Council.


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