SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES SPEECH BY US SECRETARY OF STATE AS ‘IMPORTANT ELABORATION OF PRESIDENT BUSH’S CONSTRUCTIVE REMARKS’ ON MIDDLE EAST
NEW YORK, 19 November (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of a statement issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General welcomes today’s speech by United States Secretary of State Colin Powell as an important elaboration of President Bush’s constructive remarks to the United Nations General Assembly last week, outlining a vision of a State of Israel and a State of Palestine living side by side within secure borders.
The Secretary-General warmly endorses Secretary Powell’s emphasis on the need for both parties to observe a ceasefire, in accordance with the tenet understanding, and to move rapidly on implementing the Mitchell recommendations. These recommendations relate both to a 100 per cent Palestinian effort to end violence and to the need for Israel to halt all settlement activity and end the occupation.
The Secretary-General shares the United States view that any framework for a lasting solution must be based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the principle of "land for peace". He also welcomes the United States willingness to contribute to a monitoring and verification mechanism.
The Secretary-General reiterates his readiness to work closely with Israel and the Palestinians, with the United States and other members of the "Quartet" (the European Union and the Russian Federation), as well as with Egypt and Jordan and other interested Member States, to ensure that peace and stability are attained in the region. To this end, he welcomes the imminent dispatch of Assistant Secretary of State Bill Burns to the region, and the appointment of General Zinni as Secretary Powell’s Senior Adviser on security.
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