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UN chief opposes any unilateral measures jeopardizing peace prospect for Israelis, Palestinians

2017/12/7 9:58:08   source:Xinhua

UN-SECRETARY-GENERAL-ANTONIO GUTERRES-ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE PROCESS-PRESS ENCOUNTER

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reads a statement at the UN headquarters in New York, on Dec. 6, 2017. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday he was "against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians." He made the remarks immediately after U.S. President Donald Trump announced he formally recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that he is "against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians."

"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," the UN chief told reporters immediately after U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States formally recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"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," Guterres said.

"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 said. "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," the UN chief stressed.

"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," he concluded.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump formally announced his Jerusalem decision, despite warnings from Arab countries and the European Union against such a move that would inflame tensions and fuel violence in the Middle East.

Ahead of the move, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned of "dangerous consequences" on the peace process, security and stability in the Middle East region and the world.

China said on Wednesday that the status of Jerusalem is sensitive and complicated, and urged all parties concerned to "exercise caution" for peace and tranquility in the Middle East.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang made the remarks when asked to comment on U.S. intention to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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