13 September 2005

Secretary-General Praises Political Courage of Prime Minister Sharon in Israeli Withdrawal from Gaza

NEW YORK, 12 September (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General is pleased that all Israeli military personnel and installations have been withdrawn from the Gaza Strip and praises the determination and political courage shown in this regard by Prime Minister Sharon.  He congratulates the Palestinians and commends President Abbas who has played an important role in ensuring that the withdrawal was carried out in a peaceful and coordinated manner.

The Secretary-General hopes that the withdrawal, and the cooperation and coordination between Israelis and Palestinians which made it possible, can lead to the revitalization of the peace process in the framework of the Road Map.  He is also looking forward to discussing the role that the Quartet can play when they meet next week.

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