Sat, January 24, 2009
World > Middle East > Israeli assault on Gaza

UN chief calls on regional, int'l leaders to help sustain Gaza truce

2009-01-24 03:18:14 GMT2009-01-24 11:18:14 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Calling the halt to fighting in Gaza "fragile," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Friday called on leaders in the Middle East region and around the globe to help sustain it and allow the recovery of its devastated population.

"I am relieved the fighting has ended, with the declaration of unilateral ceasefires and the withdrawal of Israeli troops," Ban said in statement delivered by Lynn Pascoe, UN under-secretary-general for political affairs, to an extraordinary meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

"But conditions are still fragile, and much more remains to be done on both the humanitarian and diplomatic fronts," he added to the group, which represents over two-thirds of the member states of the world Organization.

The secretary-general said he looks to Egypt and others to continue to seek understandings and mechanisms to ensure that a durable and sustainable ceasefire is quickly put in place.

Describing the destruction he witnessed on his visit to area, he said he also looks to regional and international leaders to help sustain those arrangement, as called for by Security Council resolution 1860, which demanded a halt to Israel's 22-day offensive and the Hamas rocket attacks that Israel said it was trying to end.

The offensive, launched on Dec. 27, claimed more than 1,300 lives and wounded more than 5,450 others, in addition to causing widespread damage and destruction.

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