President Shimon Peres held a working meeting Sunday morning with Dr. Asha Rose Migiro, the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations. He spoke to her about planned pro-Hamas flotillas to Gaza and the diplomatic events expected in September, when the Palestinian Authority may declare statehood unilaterally.
They also discussed relations between Israel and the PA, and the future of what is referred to as the “peace process.”
Regarding the flotillas, Peres said that "international law permits a country to prevent entry of ships that have not been inspected and are suspected of carrying arms, even outside its own territorial waters."
The President mentioned that he spoke with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and requested that he speak loudly and clearly against future flotillas whose purpose is to create a provocation.
At the start of the meeting the President said that Israel supports the establishment of an independent PA state side-by-side with Israel, but the way to achieve that state is through direct and discreet negotiations. "The differences between the sides are not that great," he explained, "and there is no doubt that those gaps will be closed at the end of the negotiations."
The President also said that the UN should not delude the PA Arabs into thinking that a unilateral declaration of statehood will lead to the establishment of a state. The UN must also address the security needs of Israel, he said, citing terror attacks, weapons smuggling, and “useless demonstrations” which are used as a means of provocation.
The Deputy Secretary General remarked that her intentions in visiting Israel include increasing cooperation between the UN and Israel. "We appreciate Israel's efforts in places like Haiti and I have come to thank your country for its efforts to fight poverty," she said. She also stated that the UN is committed to working with the international community towards a “two-state solution, living side-by-side in peace and security.”
Dr. Migiro also spoke of the United Nations' effort to expand its Holocaust awareness programs in an effort to educate and make sure that it does not happen again.