Tags: Annan | Rebuffed | Israel

Annan Rebuffed by Israel

Monday, 04 September 2006 12:00 AM

UNITED NATIONS -- "We did not agree that Kofi Annan and the UN would be the mediators," so reported The Jerusalem Post on Monday evening.

The Post was quoting sources in Prime Minister Ehed Olmert's office, which claimed that despite comments made by Annan spokesman, Ahmed Fawzi, Israel had not given the secretary-general any authorization to negotiate the release of two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah.

The two Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, were kidnapped by Hezbollah while they were on patrol at the Israel-Lebanon border on July 12.

Their kidnapping sparked the month long war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

While not a pre-condition for the ceasefire, the UN Security Council did promise to "pressure" the Lebanese government for the soldiers timely return.

With more than three weeks since the cease-fire and no movement on the release of the soldiers, the pressure has been building on the Olmert government.

Then, on Monday, Annan released a surprise statement that he had been authorized by Israel to appoint a "secret" negotiator to free the two soldiers.

While the Israeli foreign ministry had no comment, the prime minister's office claimed it was not true.

At UN headquarters in New York, there was no comment either on the Annan statement of negotiations or the Israeli denial.

It also comes on the heels of several reports that the IDF has in fact been secretly negotiating with Hezbollah in the Shebaa Farms area of southern Lebanon (NewsMax August 12, 2006).

Annan is also preparing for his final UN General Assembly, which convenes in two weeks.

The UN chief will end his 10-year term as secretary-general on Jan. 1, 2007.

A successor has not yet been chosen.

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UNITED NATIONS -- "We did not agree that Kofi Annan and the UN would be the mediators," so reported The Jerusalem Post on Monday evening. The Post was quoting sources in Prime Minister Ehed Olmert's office, which claimed that despite comments made by Annan...
Annan,Rebuffed,Israel
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2006-00-04
Monday, 04 September 2006 12:00 AM
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