After landing in Israel yesterday for his first official visit, UN Secretary-General António Guterres was interviewed by Channel 2 News. The interview focused on various issues including the Jerusalem controversy, the violence in Charlottesville, anti-Semitism in the UN and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Watch: The head of the UN sits down with a Channel 2 News reporter
UN Secretary-General António Guterres does not disagree with the UNESCO decision regarding Jerusalem that claimed that the Jewish people have no special connection to Jerusalem. “It is very clear for me that Jerusalem is a holy place of three religions and needs to be respected like that,” he said during an exclusive interview with Channel 2 News. Guterres explained that he believes that Judaism, Christianity and Islam have the same rights and privileges to Jerusalem. “For me, they are all equal,” he added.
Guterres, who is currently in Israel on an official visit, also commented on the violence in Charlottesville and criticized US President Donald Trump’s reaction. “I think he was not sufficiently aware of how tragic this is,” he said regarding the US president’s initial statement on the incident. Guterres added that it appeared as if Trump was attempting to please some of his voters.
Guterres and Jerusalem Photo Credit: Channel 2 News
When asked about the anti-Semitism in the UN, Guterres said that he knows that Israel occasionally receives unequal treatment. However, he clarified that Israel is treated equally by the departments directly under his authority. “In the UN, you have member states,” he explained. “Member states are responsible for their own policies, their own strategies [and] they correspond to their own interests. The UN has all the member states in the world; it’s not a selective organization.”
Guterres said that he strongly believes that the way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a two-state solution. “I would like to see this region in peace,” he stated. “I would like to see Palestinians and Israelis in peace.”