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Annan : International Force Should Be Urgently Dispatched To Middle East

By Digital Journal Staff     Apr 13, 2002 in Technology
GENEVA (voa) - The U.N. Security Council is considering a call by Secretary General Kofi Annan to urgently deploy an international force to end Israeli-Palestinian violence.
Mr. Annan said the situation in the Middle East is so dangerous and the humanitarian and human rights situation is so appalling that the idea of sending an international force to Palestinian areas can no longer be deferred.
He spoke in Geneva Friday after addressing the U.N. Human Rights Commission. He did not say whether he thinks an international force should be dispatched before an Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire is in place, or which countries should participate.
Mr. Annan said an international force could help create a secure environment and provide space for diplomatic and political negotiations. He again urged Israel to pull out of Palestinian areas, a demand the U.N. Security Council also is making.
The U.N. chief also said he fully supports U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's efforts to end the violence and resume peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Palestinian delegates at the United Nations in New York say they hope the Security Council will approve the idea. However, an Israeli spokesman is quoted as saying the force would not help to contribute to peace.
In recent months, U.S. officials have also opposed the idea of an international force in the Palestinian territories. The United States has veto power on the top U.N. body.
More about Annan, Un, Palestinians, Israel