In phone call, Ban, Israel's Netanyahu discuss need for lasting ceasefire in Gaza

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks on the telephone [file photo]. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

23 August 2014 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke today with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, urging the Isreaeli leader to retrun to calm in Gaza and enouraging steps to facilitate Egyptian efforts to secure a lasting ceasefire.

A statement issued by Mr. Ban's spokesperson in New York, confirmed the UN chief's phone call with Mr. Netanyahu as part of his oning effort to hold consultations with key international and regional leaders to address the situation in Gaza after the latest ceasefire in the tiny enclave collapsed earlier this week.

According to the statement, the Secretary-General and the Prime Minister discussed the crisis in Gaza, including the need for the parties to return to the ceasefire negotiations under Egyptian auspices.

“The Secretary-General reiterated that the United Nations stands ready to support any agreement the parties may reach,” said the statement.

Urging Mr. Netanyahu to return to calm and encouraging the Israeli leader to take steps to facilitate the Egyptian efforts, Mr. Ban stressed the importance for the parties to establish a durable ceasefire with a view to a resumption of meaningful negotiations on a two-state solution.

Today's phone call follows a round of long-distance talks the Secretary-General held yesterday with a number of key players in the Middle East and beyond on the issue, including President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas; the Foreign Minister of Egypt, Sameh Hassan Shokry Selim; the Secretary of State of the United States, John Kerry; the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani; and the President-elect of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


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