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UN / MIDDLE EAST

Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, told the Security Council today that the region continues to undergo a period of great turmoil, with regional tensions mounting dangerously. On Syria he said that ending the conflict is a matter of great urgency and must be a top priority of the international community, he said. UNTV
U130522b
Video Length
00:02:15
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U130522b
Description

STORY: UN / MIDDLE EAST
TRT: 2.15
SOURCE: UNTV
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/ NATS

DATELINE: 22 MAY 2012, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

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Shotlist

FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations headquarters

22 MAY 2012, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Med shot, delegates
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Robert H. Serry, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process:
“The Middle East continues to undergo a period of grave turmoil with tragic human consequences and uncertain outcome. We have seen regional tensions mounting dangerously as the brutal bloodshed in Syria continued while the fighting also crossed boundaries and UN peacekeepers in the Golan area of separation found themselves increasingly in harm’s way. Ending the conflict in Syria is a matter of great urgency and must be the top priority of the international community. At the same time, it would be mistaken and dangerous, to assume that a resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is less important. Now is not the time to relent in our commitment to advancing the prospects for the resumption of meaningful talks towards the realization of a two-state solution.”
5. Med shot, delegates
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Robert H. Serry, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process:
“It is crucial that both sides reverse negative trends on the ground to restore confidence in each other and in the possibility of a solution. We register that both parties are exercising some restraint and care not to upset the fragile situation on the ground in order to support the ongoing diplomatic effort.”
7. Med shot, delegates
8. Zoom out, Security Council
9. Zoom in, Ambassadors Riyad Mansour of Palestine and Mohammed Loulichki of Morocco approach the stakeout position

FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

10. Close up, reporter’s notepad

22 MAY 2012, NEW YORK CITY

11. SOUNDBITE (English) Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations:
“We reiterate our call that the Security Council has to shoulder its responsibility with Israel, the occupying power, number one to guarantee the safety and freedom of religion for the Palestinian people regardless of their religious affiliation in the holy city of Jerusalem and not to repeat these provocations that we’ve noticed over the course of the last two weeks.”

FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

12. Close up, reporter’s notepad

22 MAY 2012, NEW YORK CITY

13. Pan right, Mansour and Loulichki walk away from the stakeout position

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Storyline

While international attention is understandably on the tragedy that continues to unfold in Syria, it is equally important to ensure the resumption of negotiations aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a senior United Nations envoy stressed to the Security Council today (22 May).

Robert Serry, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process said “ending the conflict in Syria is a matter of great urgency and must be the top priority of the international community” but added that “at the same time, it would be mistaken, and dangerous, to assume that a resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is less important.”

He said “now is not the time to relent in our commitment to advancing the prospects for the resumption of meaningful talks towards the realization of a two-State solution.”

Serry said it was “crucial that both sides reverse negative trends on the ground to restore confidence in each other and in the possibility of a solution.”

He noted that “both parties are exercising some restraint and care not to upset the fragile situation on the ground in order to support the ongoing diplomatic effort.”

The Special Coordinator said he was encouraged by the renewed United States effort and sustained personal engagement of its Secretary of State, John Kerry. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also remained in close contact with the parties and there has been renewed interest by regional stakeholders.

In separate conversations last week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Mr. Ban strongly encouraged the ongoing efforts towards the resumption of peace talks, and expressed his hope that they will lead to a substantial peace initiative soon.

Outside the Security Council, Ambassador Riyad Mansour of Palestine told reporters that Israel must “guarantee the safety and freedom of religion for the Palestinian people regardless of their religious affiliation in the holy city of Jerusalem and not to repeat these provocations that we’ve noticed over the course of the last two weeks.”

Earlier this month there were a series of incidents in Jerusalem that restricted access to holy sites, including by right wing Israeli activists blocking Palestinians from the esplanade of the Haram al Sharif / Temple Mount and the detention by Israeli police of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and a Coptic Egyptian cleric in separate incidents.

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