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Srgjan Kerim Talks With Israel, Palestine Leaders

General Assembly President holds talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders

13 May 2008 - General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim met today with Israeli and Palestinian leaders on the last leg of his official visit to the Middle East, stressing the need for a comprehensive peace settlement in the region.

Mr. Kerim held talks in Jerusalem with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and senior members of the Knesset, the country's parliament, including the Speaker, Dalia Itzik.

Accompanied by an official with the office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO), he also held discussions in Ramallah with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, according to a statement released by a spokesperson for the Assembly President.

The statement added that during all of his meetings, Mr. Kerim emphasized that a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lay in the two States living side by side in peace and security.

He also condemned terrorism in all of its forms and voiced concern about the deaths of civilians in the conflict.

On this official tour, which has also included stops in the United Kingdom, Turkey and Egypt, Mr. Kerim has stressed that the Assembly has repeatedly reaffirmed its commitment to two States within recognized borders as the most viable solution.

"However, our mission has not yet been accomplished," he has said. "After more than 60 years we still need a fully viable, secure and independent Palestinian State."

Tonight Mr. Kerim is scheduled to attend the opening of a conference in Jerusalem, chaired by Tony Blair, the Representative of the Middle East diplomatic Quartet, about Israel's role in a rapidly globalizing world.

ENDS

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