Press Releases

    16 August 2005

    Secretary-General Believes Israeli Disengagement from Gaza, Northern West Bank Is "Moment of Promise and Hope"

    NEW YORK, 15 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General is following attentively the process of Israeli disengagement from Gaza and the northern West Bank, which begins today and is expected to last into the month of October.  This is to be the first Israeli withdrawal from Occupied Palestinian Territory.  He is hopeful that it will be executed in a peaceful and smooth manner, building on the coordination efforts of James Wolfensohn, the Quartet Special Envoy for Disengagement.

    Quartet members have been briefed by Mr. Wolfensohn about the progress achieved in the past two months and the considerable work that remains ahead.  They have been discussing the role of the international community in promoting a revitalization of the peace process on the basis of the Road Map.  They will meet in mid-September to assess matters jointly.

    The Secretary-General believes this is a moment of promise and hope.  Success will demand statesmanship of the highest order, on a sustained basis, on the part of all concerned.

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