Secretary-General calls again on Israel to ease Gaza blockade
Palestinian women walk near Israel’s barrier near Ramallah in the West Bank
19 June 2009 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon repeated his call on Israel to ease its blockade on Gaza during a meeting today in New York with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.
Mr. Ban also called for a freeze on all settlement activity, including natural growth, and for Israel to allow the resumption of stalled United Nations projects in Gaza, according to information provided by his spokesperson.
On Wednesday, a group of UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) called for an end to the blockade on Gaza, which has now been in force for two years and has left the population of 1.5 million almost totally dependent on international aid.
In addition to Gaza, the Secretary-General and Mr. Liberman discussed a number of regional issues including Lebanon. Mr. Ban briefed the Foreign Minister on his upcoming report on Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbollah.
On the Middle East Peace Process, the head of the UN reiterated the need for a political process based on the two-State solution and negotiations on all core issues, as envisaged in international law, Security Council resolutions, and existing agreements.
The two men also discussed Iran, with Mr. Ban reiterating his belief that the nuclear issues can and should be resolved through peaceful means, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions.