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Secretary-General and Israeli leader discuss impasse in Middle East peace process

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8 April 2011 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Israeli President Shimon Peres discussed the continuing impasse in the Middle East peace process during a meeting today between the two leaders at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Mr. Ban and Mr. Peres discussed “the urgent need for a way forward” in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, according to information released by the Secretary-General’s spokesperson.

During the meeting Mr. Ban repeated his condemnation of recent rocket fire towards southern Israel from Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, and voiced serious concern about Palestinian civilian casualties from Israeli military operations.

The Secretary-General called for maximum restraint, echoing a statement his spokesperson issued late yesterday after the recent escalation of violence between the two sides.

Mr. Ban and Mr. Peres also discussed the report of a UN fact-finding mission into the deadly conflict in Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009, also known as the Goldstone report, as well as other regional developments.