South African Government Status on the Sentiment by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran regarding Israel

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO: 1753

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 38 OF 4 NOVEMBER 2005

MR DHM GIBSON (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

(1) Whether the Government agrees with the sentiment recently expressed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Israel should be wiped off the map; if not, why not; if so, what steps will the Government take to convey its displeasure to the Iranian Government;

(2) Whether the increasingly belligerent attitude of the Iranian government constitutes a threat to peace and stability; if not, why not; if so, what steps will be taken to counter this threat?
N2361E

REPLY:

(1) No. The Government does not agree with the sentiments expressed by the President of Iran. We concur with the views expressed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who reminded UN member states on 27 October 2005 that Israel is a long-standing member of the United Nations with the same rights and obligations as every other member. Under the UN Charter, all members have undertaken to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State. The Government of South Africa will be addressing its concerns with the Government of Iran during bilateral discussions.

(2) No. The Government of South Africa believes that Iran has an important and constructive role to play both regionally and internationally and will continue to engage its Government in that context.




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