31 January, 2009
Moderator: I’m David Ignatius, a columnist for the Washington Post and I’m going to moderate this afternoon’s discussion of Gaza. Our discussion of Gaza follows a war there that has reminded all of us of the burden of history in the Middle East and also has reminded all of us of the fragility of the peace process. Tonight I hope we’ll put a little more substance to that process by discussing where we go now, how we put the pieces back together. We have a most distinguished panel to discuss these issues with us tonight. Let me first briefly introduce them. To my immediate right (sic) is the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. To his left is the President of Israel, Shimon Peres. To his left is the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon and to his left is the Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Moussa. I’m going to ask Secretary General Ban Ki-moon from the United Nations who has been particularly focused on the humanitarian aspects of the Gaza crisis to lead off tonight with his remarks for the next five minutes. Secretary General.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan: (Simultaneous translation from original Turkish) First of all, before replying to the question as to what needs to be done, I think it’s also important that we analyse the current situation because we need to do a proper analysis of the current situation in order to determine what steps need to be taken.