Middle East at most dangerous moment in a decade UN envoy says

“There are those on both sides who believe that blood must wash blood,” said the Special Coordinator for the Middle East, Terje Roed-Larsen, in a statement released in Gaza. “The leaders carry a heavy burden to break this dangerous logic.” Mr. Roed-Larsen said it was necessary for both leaders to take very unpopular decisions, which were in the long-term security and political interests of the Palestinian and Israeli people. “This is the essence of leadership,” he said. Despite the current deep crisis and impasse, Mr. Roed-Larsen said it was still possible to see a road forward. “A majority of Israelis support the creation of a Palestinian state; a majority of Israelis support the evacuation of the settlements; a majority of Palestinians still support a peace deal with Israel; and a majority of Palestinians still support reconciliation with Israel in the context of a peace deal,” he said. “We need courage and creativity to move forward.” At UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Annan’s spokesman said that besides receiving constant updates from Mr. Roed-Larsen, the Secretary-General has been in touch by telephone with the key players. “His position on the Middle East is unchanged,” spokesman Fred Eckhard said. “The Secretary-General feels that the United States yesterday gave very wise advice to the parties and they should heed that advice,” he said, referring to a US statement calling for the Israelis to withdraw from Palestinian-controlled areas and for the Palestinian Authority to do all in its power to control violence and bring terrorists to justice. Meanwhile, the representatives of Mali and Qatar have written to the President of the Security Council requesting a meeting of the Council “in order to take the necessary action to ensure the full and immediate withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces from Palestinian areas it has reoccupied recently.” read more

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