Q: Let me take you to the Quartet to the meeting that you are going
to in Italy. Let me start with a very clear thing – Israel has rejected
your call to freeze settlements, the same of President Obama’s call to
freeze settlements. The world is saying “no” settlements but
settlements go on. You met with several Israeli officials. I know what
you told them: freeze settlements. But they say they will not. So now
what? Now what do you do?A: First of all, I will continue to urge Israelis to freeze
settlements including from the natural growth of all these settlements.
First of all, they should support the two-state vision.
And, I was encouraged when Prime Minister Netanyahu supported this two-state vision…
A: …yes, with conditionality- many conditions. That was one
regrettable issue. I am going to attend the Quartet meeting and I hope
this Quartet will be able to strongly reaffirm all these basic
principles embodied in the Security Council Resolution and the Arab peace Initiative…
Q: Is that enough?
A: No. This is crucial time. It is crucial that all Palestinians and
Israelis seize this moment, and this is what we are going to push for
very hard. And even this morning (Wednesday) I had telephone talks
with Israeli leaders. Yesterday I have spoken with the Palestinian
Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, and all the times I have been working
Q: Is it time to think of sanctions to force Israel to respond and
respect the resolutions and the positions of the international
A: At this time, just dialogue and negotiations should continue.
Q: What about accountability? What if they continue to say “no” to all of you - members of the Quartet?
A: This Quartet is taking place during a very crucial, important period now.
Q: So what is your vision? I mean, you must have a vision knowing
the positions of the Israelis and the defiance of the Government of Mr.
A: This vision should come from Israel and the Palestinians, first
of all. Our vision is there to help and facilitate this ongoing
negotiation. They must begin their bilateral negotiations.
Q: What do you think of Prime Minister Fayyad’s statement about
building the institutions necessary for the Palestinian State in two
A: The independent state of the Palestinians? That has been an aspiration for many, many years now. The sooner, the better.
Q: He was saying the building of institutions for the Palestinian state in two years. Will the UN help in that?
A: In whatever and every way. We are here to support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
Q: Did you get a response to your proposal to Defense Minister Ehud
Barak to “kick start” the earlier recovery in Gaza by opening the
crossings for reconstruction material to complete UN work that was
suspended in 2007?
A: Specifically for that proposal, I had a long talk with him this morning.
A: We have to continue and press....He wanted to have more time. In principle…
Q: So you do not have “yes” for an answer yet?
A: Not a definite positive answer yet. But, basically, they are positively inclined to this “kick start” UN project....
Q: This interview will be published on Friday, the day you are with
the Quartet. You must be going with wanting to “jump start” the
regional peace. From the angel of your own contribution-other than what
others are doing- what are you taking with you?
A: I hope this time with the Quartet principles and the Arab Follow
Up Committee members we will have much strengthened visions and
concrete ideas to really push this Peace Process.
Q: The Arabs are going with their own ideas of steps to push forward the Obama initiative.
A: Yes, that will be very good.
Q: What sort of steps would you like to see?
A: I have to discuss this with other members. Now, in Gaza we should
have some transformative changes for reconstruction and humanitarian
issues. Without improving all these conditions in Gaza, I am afraid
that we are almost going back to “status quo” as before in December,
last year, before the outbreak of this Gaza situation. And there must
be some relaxation of restraint in the West Bank so that they can be
engaged in improving their social, economic conditions.
Q: Right, but what is going on is that the Israelis are going on
with demolishing Palestinian homes, with the separation wall and
enclosures, etc. One would say to you- the Quartet, including you,
Secretary General: give us the vision on how you are going to break
that deadlock given that the Israelis are not responding to you?
A: It is not responding to me only, they are not responding to all-
to United States and the Quartet. That is why we are gathering. I am
also frustrated by all this- by not moving on this with progress.
Q: Still, no punishments yet though? No accountability to push further?
A: Before talking about punishment or accountability, sanctions even, it is time for dialogue and negotiations.
Q: Lebanon, in effect, has been, I think, some people would say,
your success story because much of the resolutions of the United
Nations have been implemented. Do you feel now after the momentum that
has taken place in Lebanon, do you feel that this is a fragile
situation or is this an opportunity …
A: …This is an opportunity…
Q: Is it an opportunity to implement all provisions of all
resolutions? How do you think of the Lebanon Dossier? How did you think
you contributed to it in a nutshell and where do you like it to go?
A: I am proud that I have been one of the World Leaders that have
really made some impact and made a difference in furthering the
democratization process of Lebanon. I have paid so long time and
energy speaking not only to the world leaders, but also to Lebanese
leaders, regional leaders, and world leaders. I have visited Lebanon
myself three times at least.
Lebanon has been one of the top priorities in terms of regional
issues. If I see the progress in Lebanon, I expect that there should be
some progress in the Middle East in general.
But I am disappointed with the Middle East Peace Progress in
general- in particular between Israelis and Palestinians which has not
been moving well even while we have seen encouraging developments in
the situation in Lebanon, including the relationship between Lebanon
I have been working very hard, speaking to Syrian President Assad
that he must do all what he could do in a constructive way to improve a
relationship (with Lebanon). Now, they have exchanged the ambassadors,
and this is again very encouraging.
You have had a very good election. Now, we are waiting for a formation of a government. This will be very important.
The implementation of 1701 by next forthcoming government will be
important. The Tribunal is now working smoothly. So, this is a good
framework we have succeeded to establish.http://www.daralhayat.com/portalarticlendah/32245