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Kofi Annan calls for settling Mideast conflicts

Outgoing UN chief Kofi Annan in a report paints a grim picture of the Middle East turmoil.

india Updated: Dec 16, 2006 10:54 IST

Outgoing UN chief Kofi Annan, in a report, painted a grim picture of the Middle East turmoil, stressing that a "just and comprehensive" Israeli- Palestinian settlement was the key to resolving other regional conflicts.

The report, released on Monday will be Annan's last before he leaves office at the end of the month, will serve as a basis for debate on the Middle East during a ministerial session of the UN Security Council scheduled for Tuesday.

"Today, the Middle East faces grim prospects, and is more complex, fragile and dangerous than it has been for many years," the Ghanaian UN secretary general said. "The various unresolved but increasingly interconnected conflicts in the region both feed and feed off a growing sense of estrangement between peoples of different faiths, with consequences throughout the world."

Calling the failure to settle the "long-festering Arab- Israeli conflict...The major underlying source of frustration and instability in the region," he urged a "regional approach" to resolve the interconnected crises and conflicts in the region.

"I am convinced that the search for stability in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere will be greatly served by a concerted effort to address the legitimate aspirations of Israelis, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese to achieve two independent and secure states of Israel and Palestine, an end to the occupation of Arab land both in the occupied Palestinian territory and the Golan Heights' as well as peace in Lebanon," he noted.

First Published: Dec 12, 2006 06:03 IST