The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Michèle Montas, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, and Enrique Yeves, Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly.
Briefing by the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
Good afternoon, all. I see that there are a few of you here.
This afternoon at 3:30, here at Headquarters, there will be a meeting of the principals of the Middle East Quartet. Participants will include the Secretary-General; United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov; the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union (EU), Javier Solana; European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner; French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, on behalf of the EU Presidency; and Quartet Representative Tony Blair.
The principals are expected to issue a joint communiqué at around 5 this evening. They will then head to Conference Room 4 for a press conference. Copies of the communiqué will be brought to you in Conference Room 4.
Later this evening, the Secretary-General will host an Iftar dinner, also here at Headquarters. In addition to the Quartet principals, the Secretary-General of the Arab League and 12 Arab foreign ministers will be in attendance.
Now, Council members are holding an open debate on the Middle East, concerning the question of Israeli settlements.
Thank you all. Yes, George?
**Questions and Answers
Question: A quick question, the Security Council meeting on Israeli settlements –- that was starting this morning at 10 am –- so it should be over just about now?
Spokesperson: It’s still going on.