Annan: Middle East Sharm el-Sheikh Agreement ‘Only a Beginning'
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan said Tuesday that an Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire agreement was only a start to ending violence that has killed 110 people in less than three weeks.
"This is only the beginning. Much hard work remains to be done, and it has to be done on the ground in implementation of the agreement," Annan said before leaving Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh after a two-day summit of Middle Eastern and world leaders.
"I think to silence the guns is great, is in itself an achievement. But all of us, the leaders in the region and in the world and each individual will have to help make this work," he told reporters.
He called on all parties to "watch the language we use."
"If we are going to calm down the situation, our language should soothe, it should be a language of reconciliation, it should be a language which calms down the situation and encourages coexistence," he said.
"If we do that in addition to the security arrangements that were taken here today and the redeployment of forces, I think we stand a very good chance of succeeding in getting the peace process back on track."
US President Bill Clinton, the main sponsor of the Arab-Israeli peace process, said Tuesday that Israel had agreed to end its closure of the Palestinian territories and that both sides had agreed to publicly encourage calm -- SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AFP)
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