SECRETARY-GENERAL EXPRESSES STRONG SUPPORT FOR EUROPEAN UNION STATEMENT ON MIDDLE EAST
NEW YORK, 18 March (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement by Secretary-General Kofi Annan was issued in San Jose, Costa Rica, on Saturday, 16 March:
I strongly support the statement issued today by the leaders of the European Union at their Summit in Barcelona calling on Israelis and Palestinians to "stop the bloodshed" and to pursue peace and security through negotiations. I fully agree with the European leaders that "there is no military solution to this conflict". I reiterate my support for the efforts of Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and again welcome resolution 1397 adopted by the Security Council earlier this week, and in particular the vision which it affirmed of a region in which two States -- Israel and Palestine -- live side by side within secure and recognized borders. I hope the parties will respond urgently to these and other international initiatives, so that the search for peace can bear fruit.
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