General Assembly: Explanation of Vote regarding Palestine's status

Nov 29, 2012

(Explanation of Vote as delivered by Ambassador Wittig after the adoption of a General Assembly resolution on Palestine's status in the United Nations)

"Thank you, Mr. President,

Germany firmly believes in two states for two peoples in the Middle East: Israel and Palestine.

We share the goal of a Palestinian state. Germany has worked towards this end for years, mainly through its support for the state-building efforts by the Palestinian Authority.

Yet it must be clear to everybody: a Palestinian state can only be achieved through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

We believe there is reason to doubt whether the step undertaken today is helpful for the peace process at this point in time. We are concerned that it might lead to further hardening of positions instead of improving chances of a two-state solution through direct negotiations.

It is our expectation that the Palestinian leadership will not undertake unilateral steps on the basis of this resolution that would deepen the conflict and move us further away from a peaceful settlement.

We call on both sides to engage in serious negotiations without conditions and further delay. Parties must refrain from all actions that undermine the prospects of negotiations and the objective of a two-state solution.

Germany explicitly welcomes the fact that the resolution adopted today calls for a two-state solution and hence fully recognizes the right of Israel to exist in peace. I repeat, Israel’s legitimate security concerns have to be addressed in a credible manner, otherwise the peace process will remain stalled.

Germany will do its utmost to support all efforts aimed at paving the way for a genuine negotiation process. This can only be achieved with the necessary political will on both sides and the active commitment of the international community, including the Quartet and regional actors."

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