United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the meeting in Jerusalem between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
According to a statement issued by a UN spokesman in New York, the Secretary-General has been following events concerning the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory carefully as the announced 15 August 2005 date for Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the northern West Bank approaches.
“He welcomes the meeting today between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and looks forward to evaluating the situation at the meeting of the Quartet in London later this week,” the statement said.
Mr. Annan, who is in Europe, will, on Thursday, attend a meeting at Principals' Level in London of the diplomatic Quartet – the UN, European Union, Russia and the United States – which are co-sponsors of the Road Map peace plan for the Middle East.
The plan calls for parallel and reciprocal steps by Israel and the Palestinians leading to two States living in peace and security, originally targeted for the end of this year.