Guterres welcomes ceasefire in Israel and Gaza

© UNRWA/Mohamed Hinnawi. These buildings were destroyed during an Israeli air strike, amid a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence in Gaza City. (file)

United Nations, 14 May 2023

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed last night’s ceasefire agreement in Israel and Gaza and reiterated that only a negotiated political solution will lead to lasting peace and end the devastating cycles of violence “once and for all.”

In a statement issued by his Spokesperson on Sunday afternoon, Mr. Guterres welcomed the ceasefire that had been reached between the sides on Saturday and extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the violence.  

The hostilities have led to needless human suffering,” the statement said of the latest round of fighting, which erupted five days ago.   

According to the statement, the Secretary-General commended Egypt’s key role in bringing the hostilities to an end, alongside the efforts of Qatar, Lebanon and the United States to reach a ceasefire.  

He calls on all sides to observe the ceasefire,” the statement continued, adding that Mr. Guterres reaffirmed the United Nations’ commitment to the achievement of the two-State solution based on relevant United Nations resolutions, international law, and prior agreements and the importance of restoring a political horizon.  

“He reiterates that only a negotiated sustainable political solution will lead to lasting peace and end, once and for all, these devastating cycles of violence,” the statement concluded. 

UN looks forward to restoration of humanitarian access 

On Saturday, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, issued a similar statement welcoming the ceasefire, commending Egypt’s efforts to help restore calm, and calling on all sides to respect the truce. 

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of life and injuries, including children and women, from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza and the indiscriminate firing of rockets toward Israel by Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other militant groups,” said Mr. Wennesland, expressing his deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the violence and their loved ones.  

In the wake of the ceasefire, the UN Special Coordinator said that he looked forward “to the immediate restoration of humanitarian access and all social and economic measures to support Palestinian livelihoods in Gaza.” 

The original article appeared here.

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