Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service ·
6 March 2002
INSPIRATION FOR PEACE IN MIDEAST MUST COME FROM LEADERS,
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General is appalled by the rising toll of carnage between Israelis and Palestinians and by the increasingly aggressive rhetoric. The situation has clearly got completely out of hand, and the risks are great. The Secretary-General’s heart goes out to all who are suffering, especially the families of the innocent civilians who have been killed or injured.
The Secretary-General believes that, at this critical juncture, the leaders of the two sides must ask themselves where the current escalating cycle of violence, reprisal and revenge is leading. In his view, the Israeli and Palestinian peoples will only lose if the present drift towards disaster is allowed to continue. The Secretary-General remains convinced that there can be no military solution.
The Secretary-General wishes to remind Israeli and Palestinian leaders that they have a special and urgent responsibility to chart a path back to negotiations leading to a peaceful settlement of the conflict, without which there will be no security for either people. Third parties stand ready to help in any way they can. But the inspiration for peace and a settlement must come from the leaders. They have a responsibility to lead. History will judge them harshly, and their people will not absolve them, if they fail to do so.
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