On the second day of the United Nations General Assembly debate on the Middle East on Tuesday (2 December), Israeli Ambassador Mr.
GV EXT. UN Building.
SV INT. Israeli Ambassador Herzog speaking in English.
"We will negotiate only on the basis of recognition of Israel's sovereign rights. We will not negotiate our own suicide. If the Arabs are serious about this, let them desist from the horrible stream of hate and invective that we hear, day in and day out, in this Assembly. Let them begin to behave like mature nations. I reiterate once again from this rostrum, Israel's willingness to begin negotiations at any moment designed to lead to peace, fully aware of the fact that, by their nature, negotiations must be based on mutual respect and compromise. We are ready. I challenge my Arab colleagues to rise above the hate, bitterness and intolerance of their words, to liberate themselves from the chains of their slogans, and to join with us in setting out together along the road towards peace and a better life in the Middle East."
(MUTE) The United Nations General Assembly debate on the Middle East entered its second day on Tuesday. Israeli Ambassador Chaim Herzog stated his country's position:
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Film includes part of Ambassador Herzog's speech to the General Assembly in English. A transcript follows:-
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: On the second day of the United Nations General Assembly debate on the Middle East on Tuesday (2 December), Israeli Ambassador Mr. Chaim Herzog reiterated Israel's willingness to negotiate for peace in the region at any time.
He warned, however, that the talks could only take place on the basis of recognition of Israel's sovereign rights. "We will not negotiate our own suicide", he said.
Calling on Arab nations to join with Israel in the search for a peace solution, he appealed for an end to the bitterness and invective he said had marked recent United Nations debates on the Issue.
Last month, the General Assembly carried a joint Arab-Third World resolution describing Zionism as a form a racism. The debate proved to be one of the most highly-charged in United Nations memory, and the vote was strongly condemned by both Israel and the United States.
Israel has also refused to take part in next January's full Security Council debate on the Middle East, which the Palestine Liberation Organisation is expected to be invited to attend. Announcing the decision on Monday, the Israeli government echoed Mr. Herzog's criticism of Sunday's vote calling for the debate as a "surrender to Syrian blackmail and Soviet dictates".