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Remarks Before Meeting With United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
United Nations Headquarters
New York City
January 7, 2009

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I’m on my way to a meeting with the Secretary-General, so I only have one moment. We’re working very hard here for effective action. Obviously, the United States and several other countries have been working very hard to get to a cease-fire. We believe a cease-fire is necessary, but it has to be a cease-fire that will not allow a return to the status quo. Of course – the status quo ante.

Of course, we are very much applauding the efforts of a number of states, particularly the effort that President Mubarak has undertaken on behalf of Egypt. We’re supporting that initiative. I’ve been in very close discussions with my Arab colleagues, but also with the Israelis about the importance of moving that initiative forward. We’re also talking about how the Council can best support the effective action that could be taken on the ground.

I just want to make one comment also about the humanitarian situation. We have deep concerns about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. I had extended discussions yesterday, very detailed discussions, with the Israelis about the conditions in Gaza. I had received a report from our director of – the Administrator for USAID Henrietta Fore about specific problems in Gaza. We went over those. I am pleased that the Israelis were able to open a humanitarian corridor and to provide a pause for humanitarian action, but that needs to be repeated again and again because the people of Gaza need to be in a position to be able to get a lifeline to goods and supplies and to sanitation and to medical help.

And so we’re very focused on that. I’ve spoken again with the Israeli prime minister and with the foreign minister today about the need to make sure that that humanitarian corridor functions. And that’s one of the discussions that I’m going to have with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon right now.

Thank you very much.

2009/017


Released on January 7, 2009

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