Continued from page 1

“Leaders have a responsibility to use their voices to lower tensions instead of raising the temperatures and volatility of the moment,” he added.

Mr. Ban did not name either country, but diplomats at the U.N. said his remarks were a clear reference to the simmering tensions between Israel and Iran over Tehran;s nuclear program.

U.S. officials have not ruled out a military option against Iran, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on the U.S. to issue an ultimatum to Tehran. On Monday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Israel has no roots in the Middle East and threatened it with elimination.

Mr. Ban also said the door of opportunity for implementing a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian issue “may be closing for good,” which he attributed to the unchecked growth of Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby in a meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. session on Tuesday discussed their joint commitment to do more in support of the Syrian people.