Comments to the press by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
following his meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
Tunis, 16 November 2005
I’ve just had a very good and constructive discussion with President [Mahmoud] Abbas. We had a chance to discuss developments in Palestine, the agreement that was signed between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority, based on the 6+3 programme that Mr. Wolfensohn put forward in an attempt to open up Gaza to ensure they have a viable economy and that there is connectivity and that they are able to move people and goods in and out of the territory.
As you know, the Quartet and the United Nations have been working very closely with President Abbas to assist in this process. And I think it is important that the international community maintain its assistance and interest in this problem.
The Palestinians are talented people but they need help. They need material help and support to get the job done. We are fortunate that it is someone like President Abbas who is leading the effort. He has indicated to me that the reforms will go forward, the elections will go forward, as planned, in January. We, the United Nations, will be working with them on the elections, as we did in the past. So, I want to congratulate you on yesterday’s agreement. Agreement is fine, but the most important is implementation. So I hope both sides will implement it faithfully and expeditiously.