The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
The Secretary-General welcomes the efforts leading to a new ceasefire as announced today. He commends the parties for committing to this ceasefire of 72 hours, to begin Tuesday, 5 August, at 8 a.m. local time, and calls on them to abide by it. Until the start of the ceasefire, the parties must exercise the utmost restraint.
The Secretary-General urges the parties to commence, as soon as possible, talks in Cairo on a durable ceasefire and the underlying issues. In this regard, he welcomes the proactive engagement of the Palestinian delegation under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas. Such talks are the only way to sustainably stop the violence, which has cost far too many lives, and to change the untenable and tragic status quo in Gaza. The United Nations stands ready to lend its full support to these efforts.