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Issue of Jerusalem must be resolved by direct negotiations

Published: Thu 7 Dec 2017 10:04 AM
Issue of Jerusalem must be resolved through direct negotiations between parties, UN chief stresses
6 December 2017 – In the wake of the announcement by the United States President recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday stressed that there is no alternative to the two-state solution and that Jerusalem is an issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the parties.
“In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: there is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B,” said Mr. Guterres, speaking to the press at UN Headquarters in New York.
In his remarks, the UN chief noted that it is only by realizing the vision of two states “living side-by-side in peace, security and mutual recognition, with Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestine, and all final status issues resolved permanently through negotiations,” that the legitimate aspirations of both peoples will be achieved.
“I understand the deep attachment that Jerusalem holds in the hearts of so many people. It has been so for centuries and it will always be,” he added.
He also noted that since he took up his post as UN Secretary-General, he has consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians.
“For my part as the UN Secretary-General, I will do everything in my power to support the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to return to meaningful negotiations and to realize this vision of a lasting peace for both people,” he stated.
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6 December 2017
Secretary-General’s statement on the Middle East Peace Process [as delivered]
From day one as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians.
Jerusalem is a final status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides.
I understand the deep attachment that Jerusalem holds in the hearts of so many people. It has been so for centuries and it will always be.
In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear : there is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B.
It is only by realizing the vision of two states living side-by-side in peace, security and mutual recognition, with Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestine, and all final status issues resolved permanently through negotiations, that the legitimate aspirations of both peoples will be achieved.
For my part as the United Nations Secretary-General, I will do everything in my power to support the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to return to meaningful negotiations and to realize this vision of a lasting peace for both people.

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