UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Sunday called on both Israel and the international community to support and strengthen the Palestinian Authority as it takes full control of the Gaza Strip.
Annan made the remarks when meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the UN headquarters in New York on the sidelines of the 60th General Assembly.
Sharon briefed the Secretary-General on the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank, noting that success in Gaza would provide a momentum for the furtherance of the peace process.
He stressed that the Palestinian Authority now had a responsibility to stabilize the situation in Gaza and prevent acts of terror against Israel.
Sharon also told Annan that he was committed to implementing the Sharm el Sheikh understandings and the Road Map.
Annan congratulated Sharon on the success of the disengagement, which was in the interest of Israel.
He particularly underscored the need for Israel and the international community to support and strengthen the Palestinian Authority as it takes full control of the Gaza Strip.
This included providing the Palestinian people with a political horizon as the peace process moves forward, the Secretary-General added.