Reacting to events in Gaza, Annan says Palestinian institutions must be maintained

2 July 2006 – United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today voiced concern about the arrest of numerous Palestinian officials in Gaza amid military operations, stressing that Palestinian institutions must be preserved in order to achieve a lasting settlement.

Speaking to reporters in Banjul, Gambia, where he is attending a Summit of the African Union (AU), the Secretary-General paused from reviewing developments on the continent to comment on the Middle East. “I would like to add a word about the situation in the Gaza, in particular, regarding the bombing of the Prime Minister's office and the arrest of the Palestinian legislators, and, of course, I have already said something about the humanitarian situation, which is also of great concern,” he said.

“I remain very concerned about the need to preserve Palestinian institutions and infrastructure. They will be the basis for an eventual two-State solution and are thus in the interest of both Israelis and Palestinians.”

In light of those considerations, Mr. Annan said it would “seem inadvisable to carry out actions that would have the opposite effect.”

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