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Foreign Minister Lambrinidis’ statements following his meeting with Palestinian Authority President Abbas in New York (20 September 2011)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Mr. Lambrinidis: We talked about the Palestinians’ vision of attaining internationally recognized statehood and the very delicate negotiations, the talks taking place at this time with the Palestinians and the Israelis. I met a short while ago with the other 26 EU Foreign Ministers. This is a delicate process that we hope will bear fruit so that there can be real negotiations after whatever happens at the UN. But not vague negotiations. We want negotiations aimed a the real resolution of the problem, at the creation of a Palestinian state that will live in peace and security beside an Israeli state. We have to achieve this at long last.

Journalist: Will the Palestinian state be recognized here at the General Assembly? How does Greece see it?

Mr. Lambrinidis: That is what is being discussed right now. It is very important for this effort not to be blocked; this negotiation process must be promoted. And it needs to send a clear and strong message everywhere that Palestine has the right to a state, just as Israel has the right to security. That is what we are discussing right now.

Journalist: Has a common EU position been formulated?

Mr. Lambrinidis: I don’t think we are going to see the “train wreck” that many predicted. The EU’s having a unified position isn’t the only important thing here: it has to promote this process with credibility – dynamically and unified. Whereas a few years ago we were ignored as Europe, we are now looked to as catalysts in this process. And that is what I and other European Foreign Ministers are trying to ensure.

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