21 February 2003

  Violence Will Not Produce Security or Lasting Peace, Says Secretary-General, Following Latest Escalation in Middle East

NEW YORK, 19 February (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General is concerned at the latest escalation of violence in the Middle East. Since last Saturday, at least 27 Palestinians and four Israelis have been killed, with many more injured. This comes at a time when representatives of the international community are meeting in London to discuss ways to put the Israeli-Palestinian conflict back on a track of peaceful negotiations.

The Secretary-General remains convinced that there is no military solution to this conflict. Violence is not going to produce either security or lasting peace. It only feeds the terrible cycle which began in September 2000. The Secretary-General urges the parties immediately to cease all forms of violence, abide by international humanitarian law, and allow the international community to help them find a peaceful way out of this conflict.

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