Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service ·
9 October 2000
SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS ACTION IN MIDDLE EAST MUST SHIFT
'FROM THE STREET TO THE BARGAINING TABLE'
Following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s statement today at the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel:
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me first start by offering my condolences and sympathy to all those who have lost family, friends and dear ones and to say that we outside this region have shared your tragedy, your pain, and we understand the suffering that is going on here.
And of course I have come to the region at a time when all of you may be wondering -- can things get even worse? I have not come with any magic formula or solution; I do not have a magic wand. I have been in constant touch with Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Chairman Yasser Arafat throughout the crisis, and with other leaders in the region and beyond. I have come to listen, to hear the leaders, to work with them and to see how I can help, and how together we can work to find a solution to this crisis. Our first objective is clear. The action must shift from the street to the bargaining table. The bloodshed must stop and the conflict must not be allowed to spread. Time is short; the stakes are high; the price of failure is more than any one of us wants to pay.
I am hopeful that we can control the situation, but this cannot be done by the leaders alone. We are all responsible for society, individually and collectively, and we need you, the ordinary citizens, ordinary men and women, to reject violence and the use of force and reach out for peace, even if at times it seems elusive. I must leave now. You should understand we have work to do.
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