United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed statements by the Israeli and Palestinian Prime Ministers at a Middle Eastern summit today as opening the way to implement the Road Map peace plan, and he called on both sides to take “immediate steps” to maintain the momentum generated by the meeting.
“The Secretary-General warmly welcomes the impetus given to the renewed Middle East peace process by today's summit meeting in Aqaba initiated by [US] President George W. Bush and hosted by King Abdullah of Jordan,” a UN spokesman said in a statement.
“He believes that the statements by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas open the way for both parties to implement the Quartet's Road Map,” the statement added, referring to the plan drawn up by the UN, United States, European Union and Russian Federation for peace based on Israeli and Palestinian states living side by side and achieved through reciprocal, parallel steps by 2005.
Mr. Annan pledged his continued efforts “to assist the parties in arriving at a just, lasting and comprehensive peace,” the statement said. “He calls on them to take immediate steps as outlined in the Road Map to maintain the momentum generated by President Bush's important initiative.”