18 April 2006 – Cyprus, the Middle East and other hotspots topped the agenda during talks in Moscow today between the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs and the Russian Foreign Minister.
The UN’s Ibrahim Gambari and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed issues facing the Middle East diplomatic Quartet – the UN, Russian Federation, United States and European Union – including assistance to the Palestinian people. Their conversation also touched on the Iranian nuclear issue, Lebanon and Lebanese-Syrian relations, as well as the situation in Iraq, UN officials said.
Under-Secretary-General Gambari also described efforts underway to strengthen the capacity of the Secretary-General for bringing UN “good offices” to bear in preventing and resolving armed conflicts as called for in the Outcome Document adopted by national leaders attending the 2005 World Summit.
Steps include the establishment, within the Department of Political Affairs, of a specialized Mediation Support Unit at the service of UN peace envoys in the field, officials with the world body said.