Middle East: Annan pledges continued UN efforts in pursuit of peace

Middle East: Annan pledges continued UN efforts in pursuit of peace

The United Nations will continue to pursue peace in the Middle East, working with leaders from around the world with the aim of ending the violence and bringing the parties to the negotiating table, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

"That has always been our objective and we will continue our efforts," Mr. Annan told reporters at a press conference in New York. He said he was working with leaders from Europe, the United States and the Russian Federation, as well as leaders in the region, to foster talks between the parties.

"I have made it clear not long ago that the time is here when the international community should make a collective effort to try and break the impasse, stop the killings and bring the parties to the table, and I'm reasonably confident that we will see some activities on that front," he said.

Asked to specify a timetable for results, he said, "I hope we will not have to wait for long."

The Secretary-General also pointed out that some diplomacy by its nature could not be conducted in public. "There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes which is not always in the media, and I think in the kind of work I do not everything should be put out there." He added that many discussions were being held with capitals. "In due time, you will get to know about it," he told the press.