Annan: Comprehensive peace is vital

UN chief tells Channel 2 abduction was terror, states releases are necessary.

annan 298.88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
annan 298.88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called the Hizbullah's kidnapping of two IDF soldiers an act of "terrorism - pure and simple," in an exclusive interview with Channel 2 aired on Tuesday night. "Hizbullah should not have crossed the border to pick up the Israeli soldiers," Annan stated. For a Jerusalem Online video of events click here He admitted that no signs of life had been received from any of the three abducted soldiers, but said that it was clear to the Palestinians and Hizbullah that the three must be released. He also said that before the soldiers' release, Red Cross officials need to have access to them in order to assure their families of their conditions. Annan expressed his sympathy for both bereaved Israeli and Lebanese families, and stressed the need for a comprehensive peace in the region. "I'm not sure one should put it in terms of winning and losing." He said that he had spoken to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and that Iran would support the cease-fire. Annan defended himself, saying that he had not taken sides during the fighting, and that he was "very hard" on the Hizbullah, and that he had criticized Israel for the use of "excessive force."