UN media seminar ponders two-state Middle East solution

22 October 2003

The senior United Nations envoy for the Middle East, Terje Roed-Larsen, said today that recent events in the Middle East conflict had convinced him that only the Road Map's goals of establishing a state of Palestine, living side by side with Israel in peace and security on the basis of 1967 borders, would bring peace to the region.

The Road Map, co-sponsored by the diplomatic Quartet of the United States, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United Nations, also sets goals of ending terrorism and working out a comprehensive regional settlement, Mr. Roed-Larsen, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, told a media seminar organized by the UN Department of Information (DPI).

The 11th annual seminar was organized in cooperation with the Regional Autonomous Government of Andalusia. The meetings have been held annually in different countries since the series was launched in 1991.

This seminar brought together over 40 international participants, including present and former policymakers from Israel and the Palestinian National Authority, as well as senior United Nations officials, international experts and media representatives.

Edward Mortimer, Director of Communications in the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General, said news reports in New York might give a picture of no possible solutions to the conflict in the Middle East, or the non-violent actions taking place. The panel showed the opposite, he said, with its varied points of view.

In order to change the dynamic of Israeli politics, the Palestinians had to engage in non-violent resistance, he said, because the more Israelis who were killed, the less their fellow-citizens would listen to people such as those at the seminar.

Over the last 30 years, the European perception of the conflict had changed and he felt that whereas in the early 1970s there had been a lack of understanding of the Palestinian position, now it might be the Israeli point of view that was inadequately reflected, Mr. Mortimer said.


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