I welcome today’s agreement by all parties to a ceasefire. I pay tribute to the Government of Egypt for their work to secure this important step. The ceasefire provides a critical and welcome window of opportunity for reaching a comprehensive agreement, that tackles the underlying causes of the conflict.
This should ensure that: Hamas and other militant groups permanently end rocket fire and other attacks against Israel; the Palestinian Authority resumes control of Gaza and restores effective and accountable governance; and that Israel lifts its restrictions in order to ease the suffering of ordinary Palestinians, and allow the Gazan economy to grow. There should be international monitoring and verification to ensure full implementation of a comprehensive agreement.’
These discussions are not easy, but there is no viable alternative. The international community stands ready to assist.