Sharp exchanges at UN over Middle East peace, Iran

Israeli and Palestinian officials traded accusations over the failure to achieve peace in the region while Western powers sharply condemned Iran's threats against Israel during a series of meetings and speeches on the Middle East at the United Nations on Friday, dpa reported.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who addressed both the UN General Assembly and Security Council, said Israel's continued building of settlements in the West Bank was the "main obstacle" to achieving a two-state solution. He said the patchwork of settlements made it near impossible to create a viable Palestinian state.

That message received broad support in a meeting of the Security Council. The gathering was intended to exclusively discuss ongoing Israeli settlement activity, but a number of ministers sought to broaden the message beyond just Israel's transgressions.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner called the settlements "illegal under international law" but praised the wider peace talks being held by the Israelis and Palestinians. He said the talks had continued despite the best efforts of "extremists" and called on the Palestinian Authority to continue combatting terrorism.

Israel's UN ambassador Gabriela Shalev criticized the council for ignoring the threats posed by the radical Islamic group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and the repeated threats against Israel from Iran. She acknowledged settlements were a "sensitive issue," but denied they were the "principle and singular" obstacle to peace in the region.

The 15-nation council held the debate at the request of Saudi Arabia and the Arab League on a day when the so-called Middle East quartet - made up of the US, European Union, UN and Russia - was set to discuss the peace process at UN headquarters in New York.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the council that the United States was still working hard towards finding a deal and praised the "viable, robust, peace process." President George W Bush hosted a Middle East conference in Annapolis, Maryland in November where both sides pledged to reach a deal by the end of this year.

Abbas said the Palestinian Authority would strive to achieve the "maximum progress possible" in talks with Israel this year. Israeli President Shimon Perez said Wednesday he didn't expect a final solution until 2009.

But Rice also angrily chided the Security Council for not condemning Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's fresh threats against Israel made during a speech before the UN General Assembly earlier this week.

"When this council decides what really needs to be taken up as a threat to international peace and security, that to me makes the top of the list," Rice told the council.

"The United States will be asking the council to convene again to take up the matter of one member of the United Nations calling for the destruction of another member of the United Nations in a way that simply should not be allowed, if you would pardon my saying so in polite company," Rice said.

British Foreign Minister David Miliband said he was "truly sorry the council could not find unity in the denunciation of (Ahmadinejad's) remarks."

Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa told reporters that the council had been "unanimous" in its condemnation of Israeli settlement activity, which he said made the prospects of achieving a two-state solution "very difficult, if not impossible."

The ongoing settlement activity "has killed Annapolis," Mussa said.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Georgia – Uzbekistan trade turnover up
Georgia – Uzbekistan trade turnover up
Georgia’s electricity exports skyrocket
Georgia’s electricity exports skyrocket
Swiss company eyes creating assembly line for trains in Georgia
Swiss company eyes creating assembly line for trains in Georgia
Loading Bars
EMA conditionally approves Pfizer's COVID-19 pill
Georgia – Uzbekistan trade turnover up
Tajikistan reports civilian casualties as result of incident on the border
Kyrgyz Border Service: Tajik side again violated bilateral ceasefire agreements
Tajik side does not cease fire and continues to pull up military equipment, personnel
Turkey calls for thaw in Ukraine - Russia tensions
Civil protection services of Kyrgyzstan transferred to emergency mode
Tajikistan pulls heavy equipment to the border - State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan
Five Tajik citizens injured in conflict on border with Kyrgyzstan
Iran, Uzbekistan to develop transit ties
Turkish Airlines' Chairman of the Board of Directors resigns
Azerbaijan's Zangilan Airport to be included into ICAO catalog
Chairman of Azerbaijan's National Television and Radio Council talks details of switching to HD format (Exclusive)
Azerbaijan records increase in loans issued for real estate sector
Uzbekistan shares data on interest expenses of banking sector for 2021
Uzbekistan shares data on regulatory capital of its banks for 2021
Kazakh president suggests to set up transport and logistics consortium with India
Trade turnover between Central Asian countries and India unveiled
Launch of Azerbaijani-Armenian border delimitation to help prevent incidents - Russian MFA
Azerbaijan launches engineering-geological studies in Aghdam Industrial Park
Azerbaijan's Anglo Asian Mining increases its stake in Canadian mining company
Turkmenistan and US discuss bilateral cooperation
Azerbaijan announces auction to privatize state enterprises, vehicles
Azerbaijani gymnast to participate in Trampoline Gymnastics World Cup in Baku
Turkmen Khazar consortium announces tender for tubing repair
Azerbaijan records increase in export of products by industrial zones
Azerbaijan to hold auction for helicopters (PHOTO)
European natural gas prices to fall this year
Armenian PM may visit Turkey
Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan hold another meeting on "Dostlug" field
Global oil market to flip into surplus in 2022
European Azerbaijan School: IELTS Registration Partnership Agreement Between British Council and Azerbaijan Teachers Development Centre was signed yesterday (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Georgia’s electricity exports skyrocket
Turkmenistan allocates loans to expand natural gas fields exploration
Azerbaijan Industry Bank’s assets down in 2021
“We became the first company in CIS region to receive ISO 37001 certificate”
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 3,361 more COVID-19 cases, 1,132 recoveries
Azerbaijan unveils volume of investments made in industrial zones
Swiss company eyes creating assembly line for trains in Georgia
Azerbaijani Muganbank's assets edge up
Poland’s Catholic Church marks Day of Islam
Georgia announces launch date for regional enterprise dev't program (Exclusive)
Azerbaijan to simplify civil UAV registration procedures
Azerbaijan, Iran holding talks on construction of Astara-Rasht railway - official
EBRD discloses results of its investments in Uzbekistan for 2021
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for January 27
Criminal case of former chief of Kazakhstan's KNB classified as "Top Secret"
Assets of Azerbaijan's Yelo Bank increase in 2021
Yapi Kredi Bank Azerbaijan ends 2021 with loss
Iran’s exports from West Azerbaijan Province increase
Demand for eSIM technology increases in Azerbaijan - deputy minister (Exclusive)
German daily COVID cases rise above 200,000, causing staff shortages
Uzbekistan’s CERR forecasts GDP growth for 2022
Kazakhstan’s modernized national security system must be ready to meet any challenges - president
SOCAR AQS, Iraqi Drilling Company ink protocol
Georgia, Azerbaijan discuss attracting tourists to South Caucasus
Azerbaijani Unibank's assets up in 2021
Iran’s POGC unveils volume of gas extracted from South Pars gas field
EIB reveals volume of investments in green transformation
Azerbaijani Finance Ministry to put up gov't bonds for new auction
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price dips
Azerbaijan discloses timeframe for providing entire country with internet
Bulgaria’s Chiren gas storage project to get funding from EU
EU calls on Azerbaijani farmers to engage in more cooperation
EU companies among largest investors in Azerbaijan – EU Programme Manager
Central Bank of Azerbaijan hold regular foreign currency auction
Iran sees surge in price of apartments in Tehran
Azerbaijan talks unauthorized use of state companies' cable networks
Azerbaijan's Ziraat Bank discloses net profit for 2021
IRICA shares data on import of COVID-19 vaccine to Iran
Uzbekistan Airways to resume flights to Turkey's Istanbul
Azerbaijan sees growth in oil prices
Joint projects - good chance for Azerbaijan, Iran to develop relations further, MP says
Azerbaijan records growth of production in industrial zones in 2021
Azerbaijan talks construction, restoration of roads in liberated areas
Russia records another 88,816 coronavirus cases — crisis center
Uzbekistan shares data on potato imports for 2021
EU shares experience with Azerbaijan in development of agritourism - official
Spirits maker Diageo posts 16% rise in first-half sales
Bank of America raises base pay for top bankers
Uzbekistan places government bonds on currency exchange
Azerbaijan unveils TV & radio coverage of liberated areas
Croatia to possibly take part in demining of Azerbaijani liberated lands
Croatian Ambassador talks impact of COVID-19 on Ionian-Adriatic Pipeline project
Georgian Ambassador to Azerbaijan visits Baku Higher Oil School (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan plays its role in global fight against anti-Semitism and support of multiculturalism - UN official
Agriculture plays key role in Azerbaijani economy's diversification - EU official
Croatia eyes to strengthen co-op with Azerbaijan in food processing industries
Uzbekistan shares data on GDP per capita
Uzbekistan starts implementation of new investment project
Spain's Sabadell reports 161 mlns Q4 net profit helped by TSB
Electrolux books $85 mln tariffs case related charge in Q4
Azerbaijan is unique Muslim country with large Jewish community - Israeli ambassador (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan's AccessBank discloses loan portfolio volume for 2021
VTB Bank Azerbaijan reveals net profit for 2021
Uzbekistan looking to increase GDP and industrial production in 2022
Deutsche Bank nearly triples Q4 profit, defying expected loss
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attend inauguration of newly built Training and Service Complex in Bina settlement (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Croatia provides update on Ionian-Adriatic Pipeline project
All news