Press Releases

    21 October 2005

    Criticism by Arab League Chief Surprises Secretary-General

    NEW YORK, 20 October (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement is attributable to the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General was surprised by the statement issued yesterday by Amre Moussa, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, criticizing the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Alvaro de Soto, for his briefing to the Security Council on 23 September 2005.  There was nothing in that briefing that could be construed as supporting the construction by Israel of the barrier on occupied Palestinian land.

    The position taken by Mr. de Soto was entirely consistent with decisions taken in the General Assembly and the Security Council on this issue.

    The Secretary-General has full confidence in his Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and expects all interested parties to work with him in our common search for a solution in the Middle East.

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