|Annan (L) with Bremer (R): |
Occupied Territories and Iraq
were top on the agenda
The Quartet’s criticism of Israel came after its members met on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum held in the Jordanian resort of Shuneh on the shores of the Dead Sea.
"The Quartet expresses its deep concern over Israeli military actions that result in the killing of innocent Palestinian and other civilians," a statement read out by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan said.
Annan’s statements came after he held talks with members of the Quartet, which consists of the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations.
Annan said Quartet members recognised Israel's right to “self-defence” against what he called “terrorist attacks”.
However, he said that the Quartet called on Israel to respect international humanitarian law and exert maximum effort to avoid civilian casualties.
The Quartet also called on the Palestinian Authority to make all possible efforts to put an end to what it called “terror attacks” on Israelis.
However, Annan said, "It is obvious that the Palestinians cannot combat terrorism and end violence without Israel's active cooperation."
Earlier in the day, debates on the roadmap plan and Iraq’s post-war future took centre stage on the second day of the three-day WEF event.
Annan held talks with US top administrator in Iraq Paul Bremer and UN’s special representative in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.
The UN top official said that a “preparatory conference” on Iraq’s reconstruction would be held next week at UN headquarters.
An Iraqi delegation would be present as well as representatives from different countries, according to Annan.