1. Wide of United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meeting Tzipi Livni, Minster of the Knesset and Leader of the Opposition, Israel
2. Wide of Ban and Livni sitting down
3. SOUNDBITE: (English) Ban Ki-moon, U.N. Secretary-General: ++PLEASE NOTE CAMERA ANGLE CHANGES++
"I urged the Israelis to expedite their domestic investigation process and submit a report as soon as possible so that this panel members could review and liaise between the Turkish investigation and the Israeli investigation so that they would be able to have their own judgment. Again I expressed my strong hope to Mrs Livni, even though she is the opposition leader. That is what I have been speaking to (Israeli) Prime Minister Netanyahu. I think last week when I was, we were talking about these settlement issues, the second issue was that particular issue."
4. Wide of media
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Ban Ki-moon, U.N. Secretary-General:
"I urge Israel to restore settlement restraint under its Road Map obligations and I urge Arab leaders meeting in Sirte this week to keep doors open and support (Palestinian) President Abbas. Negotiations should move forward intensively, focused on resolving core issues, not talks for the sake of talks."
6. Mid of media
7. SOUNDBITE: (English) Ban Ki-moon, U.N. Secretary-General:
"The work of the independent judiciary system should not be interfered by any decisions or any measures taken by any country or any people in Lebanon and outside. That is firm and clear. Nobody can interfere, or pre-judge the decisions or proceedings of tribunal otherwise you'll never be able to see and achieve the end of impunity. And peace and security and political stability in Lebanon is different, should be different from this justice process."
8. Mid of media
9. SOUNDBITE: (English) Ban Ki-moon, U.N. Secretary-General:
"Some troop contributing countries have withdrawn their helicopters and we are in acute shortage of critical assets. We are now trying to make up for all these loses of critical assets, but it is going to be quite difficult operation again. Despite that the priority of MONUSCO (United Nations Organisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo) is to protect the civilian population. We will do whatever we can do within this limited capacity."
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Israeli opposition leader, Tzipi Livni, at the United Nations in New York on Wednesday with the issue of the raid on the Gaza flotilla top of the agenda.
Speaking at a media conference later that day, Ban urged Israel to "expedite their domestic investigation process and submit a report as soon as possible" regarding the Israeli raid on a Turkish-organised flotilla headed to Gaza on May 31.
Nine Turkish activists, including a dual American citizen, were killed in clashes with Israeli naval commandos, setting off an international uproar, and hundreds of activists were detained and expelled from the country.
The flotilla carrying aid had been trying to breach Israel's three-year blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Israel imposed its blockade of the Gaza Strip after Hamas militants seized power there three years ago.
Israel has said the measures were needed to prevent Hamas from arming, but the blockade has brought Gaza's economy to a virtual standstill.
An Israeli commission investigating the May 31 flotilla raid said Tuesday that it had summoned a senior Israeli official to testify about how international activists were treated in detention.
A report by the U.N. Human Rights Council released last week accused Israel of using "extreme and unprovoked violence" against the detainees at a time when they posed no threat to Israeli forces.
Israel refused to cooperate with that U.N. investigation, saying the council has a long record of bias. Israel is cooperating with a separate UN investigation commissioned by Secretary-General Ban.
Ban also said that negotiations between Israeli and the Palestinian leaders should move forward "focused on resolving core issues, not talks for the sake of talks."
He urged Israel "to restore settlement restraint" and encouraged Arab leaders meeting in Sirte, Libya, this week "to keep
doors open and support president Abbas."
Ban said he had spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Middle East envoy, George Mitchell and
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
All three parties told him they were committed to finding solutions to their problems.
Israeli officials said on Wednesday that Netanyahu had been sounding out key Cabinet members on extending a freeze on new construction in West Bank settlements in hopes of keeping peace talks with the Palestinians alive.
However officials said he is encountering stiff resistance.
In Ramallah, key members of the Palestinian leadership, in an increasingly tense waiting mode, expressed optimism that an extension nonetheless was imminent.
Speaking on another matter, Ban told all parties not to interfere in the work of the U.N. tribunal investigating the
assassination of Lebanon's former prime minister Rafik Hariri, a message clearly directed at the militant group Hezbollah and its ally Syria.
With indictments expected before the end of the year, militant group Hezbollah and the Syrian government have mounted a campaign to undermine the tribunal by raising doubts about its neutrality.
Several Syrian and Lebanese officials reportedly calling for the U.N. to shut down the tribunal, claiming its investigations are tainted.
Ban rejected strongly defended the tribunal's work and said Lebanese and regional parties should not prejudge the outcome.
"Nobody can interfere, or pre-judge the decisions or proceedings of tribunal otherwise you'll never be able to see and achieve the end of impunity," he added.
The U.N. chief had no comment on the 33 arrest warrants issued this week by Syria's judiciary for allegedly misleading the investigation into the massive suicide truck bombing in February 2005 that killed Hariri and 22 others.
During the media conference, Ban also spoke about challenges faced by the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), in the wake of decisions by some troop-contributing countries to withdraw their helicopters.
"We are in acute shortage of critical assets" Ban said, adding that "we are not trying to make up for all these losses of critical assets, but it is going to be quite difficult operation again."