18/8/2005
Secretary-General
SG/SM/10051

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL COMMENDS ‘COURAGEOUS DECISION’ OF ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER SHARON


ON DISENGAGEMENT PROCESS; CONDEMNS TERROR ATTACK ON PALESTINIAN CIVILIANS


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:


If there is to be peace in the Middle East, it will require leadership, vision and the willingness of leaders on both sides to make sacrifices for the greater good.


In this context, the Secretary-General commends the courageous decision of Prime Minister Sharon to carry through with the painful process of disengagement from the Gaza Strip and part of the northern West Bank.  The Secretary-General hopes that both Palestinians and Israelis will exercise restraint in this challenging period.  He condemns the terror attack of 17 August against Palestinian civilians, and sends his condolences to the families of the victims and to the Palestinian Authority.


The Secretary-General believes that a successful disengagement should be the first step towards a resumption of the peace process, in accordance with the Road Map.  He notes that it is an important opportunity for the Palestinian Authority to demonstrate its commitment to peace and security by establishing the rule of law in Gaza following the withdrawal.


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For information media • not an official record