Ban visits Israel, P.A.


The U.N. secretary-general visited Israel and Palestinian Authority-controlled areas, but refused meetings with Hamas officials.

Ban Ki-moon arrived in Israel on
Saturday for his first visit since
taking office. He told reporters there was a “gathering dynamism” in efforts to
restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and spoke positively of a Saudi
proposal for comprehensive regional peace under which Israel would win
recognition from the Arab world in exchange for giving up land captured in the
1967 Six-Day War and accepting a resolution to the Palestinian refugee problem.

Ban was to meet P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday and
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday. However, he would not meet with Hamas officials, saying the atmosphere was “not fully ripe,” according to The Associated Press.

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