11 June 2001


NEW YORK, 8 June (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General has been following closely the situation in the Middle East, including in particular the current crisis between Israelis and Palestinians. He has maintained close contacts with the parties and is in regular touch with other leaders in the region and of the international community. He fully endorses the current efforts of the United States, the European Union and the Russian Federation, among others, to help bring about an end to the current cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, and the resumption of a meaningful political process on the basis of the Mitchell Committee report, which both parties have accepted.

The Secretary-General has decided that it would be timely for him to visit the region next week, as part of his ongoing efforts to find a political solution to the Israeli/Palestinian crisis, and to promote a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East, based on relevant United Nations resolutions.

Details of the Secretary-General's itinerary will be released later, after further consultations.

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