New Zealand coaching rugby in Ramallah and Jerusalem

May 21, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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New Zealand Foreign Minister has met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. He also addressed the US/NZ Pacific Partnership Forum announcing an offer of help to get both parties involved in the Israel-Palestine dispute back to the table.

Murray McCully meets John Kerry

Murray McCully meets John Kerry

An extract from his address:

“But just as there are so many things that only the US can do because you are large and powerful, there are others that countries like New Zealand can do only because we are not.

I take this opportunity to commend Secretary Kerry for the significant attention he has brought to the Middle East Peace Process.

New Zealand has, with others, been calling for the strongest US leadership on this matter, as the window for a two-state solution draws dangerously more closed.

But we are not asking you to do it alone.

Murray McCully meets Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu on 1912

Murray McCully meets Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu on 1912

We all have a huge stake in defusing the dispute that carries the seeds of wider conflict in the region and beyond.

New Zealand has been engaged in the MFO, maintaining peace in the Sinai for over 30 years, and one of our generals is currently in command.

We are engaged in a demining project on the West Bank, because we have worked hard to maintain the trust of both Israelis and Palestinians.

We even provide rugby coaching to teams in both Jerusalem and Ramallah.

New Zealand and many other countries want to actively support Secretary Kerry in finding a way to achieve a two-state settlement in the Middle East in the narrow window that is left.”

There was no media release following the meeting but the New Zealand Herald reported that most of the meeting was focused on the Middle East. The report said that New Zealand would be prepared to part of a peace-keeping force working within a buffer zone separating Israel and the Palestinians.

The Herald reported that Secretary of State Kerry as “having more of a sense of determination than a sense of optimism about the outcome”.

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