Annan backs EU leaders' call to Israelis, Palestinians to stop bloodshed

Annan backs EU leaders' call to Israelis, Palestinians to stop bloodshed

Secretary-General Kofi Annan
The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has expressed strong support to the call made in Barcelona by the leaders of the European Union who urged Israelis and Palestinians to "stop the bloodshed" and to pursue peace and security through negotiations.

"I fully agree with the European leaders that 'there is no military solution to this conflict,'" Mr. Annan said in a statement released on Saturday in reaction to the EU appeal made earlier in the day.

"I reiterate my support for the efforts of Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and again welcome resolution 1397 adopted by the Security Council earlier this week, and in particular the vision which it affirmed of a region in which two States -- Israel and Palestine -- live side by side within secure and recognized borders," he stressed.

The Secretary-General said he was hopeful that the parties would respond urgently to these and other international initiatives, so that the search for peace could bear fruit.