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US abstains on UN Gaza cease-fire resolution. Condoleezza Rice explains.





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Uploaded on Jan 8, 2009

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Meeting at 21.25 New York Time on January 8, 2009 (which was 02.25 GMT January 9, 2009), the UN Security Council passed resolution 1860 by 14 votes for, no votes against and 1 abstention by the United States of America cast the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

After the resolution was passed, Condoleezza Rice addressed the Security Council.

Official State Department transcript - see this link - http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/200...

(Partial transcript by Peter Dow follows)

"I am pleased to join the members of the Council for this important discussion tonight. It's obviously a very serious situation in Gaza and while our goal must be the stabilization and normalization of Gaza through the implementation of a durable and fully respected cease-fire and an end to all terrorist activities I think that this resolution shows that the Council and the United Nations is indeed seized of the matter.

This resolution is a step toward to our goals. It reflects the international community's concern about the circumstances in Gaza and its desire for a sustainable peace in Gaza."

"Obviously there are many tasks to be done to root out the causes of the hostilities including to deal with the provision of rockets and the smuggling of weapons, to secure the border so that we can lay the basis for the reopening of crossings based on the principles of the 2005 agreement on movement and access and to provide security for the Israeli people and a better life for the people of Gaza.

We must establish an international consensus that Gaza must never again be used as a launching pad for rockets against Israeli cities because it is important to remember how this crisis began.

Violence in Gaza was instigated by Hamas, a terrorist group that called for the destruction of Israel. 18 months ago Hamas took over the Gaza strip in a coup and since then thousands of guns and rockets and mortars have been smuggled into Gaza. Hamas refused to extend the "tahadiya" and continued armament is a root cause of the current situation and it has gravely endangered the residents of both Gaza and southern Israel.

Hamas's commitment to violence is not only an attack on Israel but also an attack on the 2 states solution.

We require principled resolution of the situation in Gaza and the Security Council resolution that we are passing tonight in fact gives us a basis on which to do this."

"Let me say too that the United States recognises the right of Israel, like other states, to exercise its right of self-defence and we have said to Israel that it is obligated to take feasible steps to minimise the impact of any actions on civilians."

"Ladies and Gentlemen, the United States thought it important to see the outcomes of the Egyptian mediation efforts in order to see what this resolution might have been supporting and that is why we chose to abstain tonight but after a great deal of consideration, we decided that this resolution, the text of which we support, the goals of which we support and the objectives that we fully support, should indeed be allowed to go forward.

I believe in doing so, the Council has provided a road-map for a sustainable, durable peace in Gaza. Thank you very much."


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