Lebanon + 2 more

Statement by Council of Europe Secretary General on the situation in the Middle East

Strasbourg, 13.07.2006 - Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, today made the following statement in reaction to the escalation of Israeli military operations.

"I support the objective of the Israeli government to free captured Israeli soldiers and protect Israeli citizens from terrorist attacks, but the Israeli methods are inappropriate and counterproductive.

Deliberate destruction of the infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, indiscriminate retaliation affecting civilians, and military operations against non-military installations in neighbouring Lebanon are unlikely to help the liberation of Corporal Gilad Shalit and his colleagues or deter future terrorist actions against Israel.

I am afraid that these methods will further destabilise the situation in the region and undermine the already fragile prospects for a lasting peaceful political solution, which is in the interest of both Israelis and Palestinians as well as their neighbours in the Middle East."

Council of Europe Press Division
Ref: 430a06
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 39 11
internet: www.coe.int/press