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Gutteres insists two-state solution is only way forward in the Middle East
10 October 2023
UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres, on Monday, 9 October, made a passionate call for a return to negotiations between the sides in the Middle East, and said that "only a negotiated peace that fulfills the legitimate national aspirations of Palestinians and Israelis, together with their security alike – the long-held vision of a two-State solution, in line with United Nations resolutions, international law and previous agreements – can bring long-term stability to the people of this land and the wider Middle East region."
Gutteres was speaking as the most serious crisis in the middle East in half a century unfolded following the Saturday morning raids by Hamas militants on towns and settlements in the south of Israel. Whilst unequivocally condemning the attacks, Gutteres said that "this most recent violence does not come in a vacuum. The reality is that it grows out of a long-standing conflict, with a 56-year long occupation and no political end in sight."
"It’s time to end this vicious circle of bloodshed, hatred and polarization", the UN Secretary General said in the press briefing, which he held in New York following a meeting with other senior UN officials. Clearly, the UN sees the crisis as one of the most significant in recent years and is brazing itself for a humanitarian catastrophy as Israel launches a large scale punitive action in Gaza with the aim of eradicating completely Hamas, and its political and military capacity. In his statement, Gutteres said that "Civilians must be respected and protected at all times".