SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF SHARM EL SHEIKH UNDERSTANDINGS
AND END TO MIDDLE EAST VIOLENCE
Following is the text of a statement issued today by the Office of the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the escalation of Israeli-Palestinian violence:
The Secretary-General has been monitoring closely the steady escalation in Israeli-Palestinian violence. He is increasingly concerned that it threatens to get out of control with unpredictable consequences.
The Secretary-General wishes to reiterate his strong conviction that the only way out of the current crisis is through the resumption of political negotiations. In his view security measures alone will not halt the growing violence.
Having talked with several regional and international leaders over the past few days, the Secretary-General would like to see urgent steps taken to control the situation. There should be parallel confidence-building measures and a resumption of security cooperation.
The Secretary-General insists on the need for a halt to all violence, and full implementation of the Sharm El Sheikh understandings. Israel should end its six-month-old blockade on Palestinian areas, and transfer to the Palestinian Authority all outstanding revenues. The Secretary-General believes that these steps could serve as a basis for getting the parties back to the table.
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