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Annan Urges Israel/Palestine To Search For Peace

As Middle East Violence Mounts, Annan Urges Both Sides To Renew Search For Peace

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today voiced grave concern at the escalation of violence and the rising casualty toll on both sides in the Gaza Strip and adjacent Israeli areas in the past 24 hours, particularly the death and injuries of children.

A statement issued by a spokesman for Mr. Annan said the Secretary-General "remains deeply convinced that there is no military solution to this conflict."

He urged both parties to cease all forms of violence immediately, to act in strict compliance with their obligations under the Road Map peace plan and international law, and to renew their search for a peaceful solution to the conflict, the statement said.

The Road Map is a plan sponsored by the United Nations, European Union, Russian Federation and United States - collectively known as the Quartet - which calls for Israel and the Palestinians to take a series of reciprocal and parallel steps leading to two States living side-by-side in peace by 2005.

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