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Department of Public Information (DPI)
18 October 2011
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES PRISONER EXCHANGE AGREEMENT LEADING TO RELEASE
OF ISRAELI STAFF SERGEANT GILAD SHALIT, HUNDREDS OF PALESTINIAN PRISONERS
The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
The Secretary-General welcomed the recent prisoner exchange agreement and views today’s releases as a significant humanitarian breakthrough. He has long called for the end of the unacceptable captivity of Gilad Shalit and has also called for the release of Palestinian prisoners. For several years, the United Nations has actively supported channels of dialogue to resolve this issue.
The Secretary-General thanks Egypt for its contribution to this outcome, and Germany for its efforts. In the aftermath, the Secretary-General hopes that more far-reaching steps will be taken to end the closure of Gaza and enable reconstruction. He continues to call in the same context for an end to the smuggling of weapons and a sustained calm between Israel and Gaza.
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