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Zayed scoffs at Israel's claims of self-defence

posted on 14/01/2002: 748 views

Abu Dhabi Jan. 14, 2002 (WAM) President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan today described Israel's claims of practising self defence in its ruthless campaign against the unarmed Palestinian people as baseless. Sheikh Zayed's remarks came during a meeting with William Burns, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs. Sheikh Zayed reviewed with Burns the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories in the light of the continued Israeli escalation of violence against the Palestinian people and the efforts being exerted to revive the peace process. The discussions also included the international campaign against terrorism and a number of other issues of mutual concern. In a statement after the meeting, Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said that Sheikh Zayed called upon the United States in its capacity as the prime sponsor of the Middle East peace process to shoulder its responsibilities by ordering an immediate end to Israel's aggression against the Palestinian people, its challenge to the will of the international community and its threatening of the security and peace in the region.

'The continuation of the serious situation prevailing in the occupied Palestinian territories as a result of the aggressive Israeli policies which claim the lives of many of the Palestinian people poses a threat to the security of all countries in the region and international efforts aimed at accomplishing a comprehensive and just peace,' Sheikh Zayed added. The President said that Israel's claims of practising self-defence against Palestinian attacks and its branding the legitimate resistance of the Palestinians against occupation as terrorism were futile and invalid attempts. He urged the need for the United States and all world powers concerned with peace to send international observers to separate the Palestinians and Israelis and to provide protection to the Palestinian people against the brutality of the Israeli army. Sheikh Zayed said that the international campaign against terrorism should not ignore the Israeli terrorism in Palestine. Present at the meeting were Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed al Nahyan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, other Sheikhs and senior officials as well as U.S. Ambassador Marcel Wahba. (WAM)


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