UN chief to meet Netanyahu, Abbas

2012-11-19 20:15

New York - UN chief Ban Ki-moon will meet Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas as part of a growing push for a Gaza war ceasefire, his spokesperson said on Monday.

"The secretary general wishes to add his diplomatic weight to these efforts, which are considerable and extremely important," UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters from Cairo, where Ban arrived on Monday.

Ban was to meet Egypt's Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr on Monday night, and President Mohammed Morsi and Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi on Tuesday, Nesirky said.

Ban would then go on to Jerusalem and the Palestinian talks but had no plan to go to Gaza, Nesirky added. He gave no dates for the talks.

Morsi has been leading Arab efforts to halt the Gaza conflict. Ban "has travelled to the region to add his support to the Egyptian-led efforts to reach an immediate ceasefire," said Nesirky.

Ban engaged in similar shuttle diplomacy when Israel launched a previous military onslaught against Gaza in early 2009. The UN leader has condemned rocket attacks into Israel from Gaza and called on Israel to show restraint.

"This violence, this bloodshed, is not doing anything to bring about greater security for Palestinians or for Israelis and it makes it even harder for there to be negotiations through the Middle East peace process," said Nesirky.

  • squeegee.pilot - 2012-11-19 20:37

    I doubt that the useless UN will manage to make any headway...

      ancbasher - 2012-11-20 05:55

      Not while the USA keep on pumping weapons and technology into Israel...

  • larry.lachman.54 - 2012-11-19 22:08

    Oh, please stop wasting our time. We have work to do. This guy prances and minces about like our Desmond Tutu.

  • jeremy.bard.31 - 2012-11-19 23:48

    An impotent, toothless, lame duck stooge and a slave to the US and Israel; says a whole lot of nothing, and does a whole lot of nothing. An overpaid oxygen thief.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-20 04:14

      The whole lot of nothing is your stupid rhetoric. It has done nothing for sixty years but cause untold pain and suffering for the Palestinians. Thankfully the new generation Muslims of the Middle East have seen through the lies plied by the unelected dictators of the region, and are moving in a different, better direction. You're being left behind, as you should. Your views are worthless and only lead to more suffering.

  • philip.gray.10048 - 2012-11-20 00:36

    Like the EU, it is easy for Ban Ki-Moon to ask Israel for restraint when he is not on the receiving end of the constant barrage of rockets.

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