"I stand here before you, a representative of the new Egypt – an Egypt which has chosen a new era," Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Ali Amr told the members of the 66th UN General Assembly on Saturday.
Amr's speech reviewed the revolution his country has undergone, but also focused on the Palestinian bid for statehood and Egypt's criticism of Israel.
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The Egyptian minister pledged Cairo's support for the Palestinian bid for UN membership and urged the international community to do the same. "Egypt will spare no effort to support the Palestinian cause and will continue to urge all international parties to back the Palestinian request," he said.
He further called for a solution to the regional conflict in the form of a "just peace based on the two-states solution."
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Amr blasted Israel's acts in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as criminal, saying that "Israel is dismissive of the international community's demand to cease settlement expansion. It uses violence against civilians and violates international law."
He also said that the Mideast Quartet failed in achieving its objectives: "The Palestinian people are still devoid of their rights, including independence, freedom and a sovereign state with holy Jerusalem as its capital, based on the 1967 lines. (Israel) only wants to continue with negotiations indefinitely."
Egypt, he concluded, "Will continue in its efforts to end the Israeli occupation and reach a final agreement on all issues."
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