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UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · Geneva


PB/01/10/23
23 October 2001

Geneva Press Briefing


REGULAR PRESS BRIEFING BY THE INFORMATION SERVICE

Jamel Ben Yahmed, Chief of the Press Unit of the Information Service at Geneva, briefed journalists about UN meetings concerning the Middle East peace process; East Timor; the Secretary-General's report on Somalia; the Secretary-General's next trip to Geneva; upcoming press conferences; and the UN Open Door Days.

The Middle East

In Gaza yesterday, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East, Terje Roed-Larsen, along with senior officials from the United States, the Russian Federation and the European Union, met with Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat. According to UN spokesman Fred Eckhard, a statement issued after the meeting said that the officials had urged Arafat to make a vigorous effort to combat terrorism and to enforce the Palestinian Authority's ceasefire orders. 'They added that such steps should be matched by the Israelis in full compliance with existing agreements, including the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces and security personnel from 'Area A' zones that are under full Palestinian control,' Mr. Eckhard said.

Meanwhile, the Secretary-General met on Sunday in New York with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres to review the grave situation in the Middle East. According to Mr. Eckhard, the Foreign Minister explained the demands that Israel was making of the Palestinian Authority, while Mr. Annan emphasized the need to find a way to return to the negotiating table, on the basis of the Mitchell report, and to break out of the current deadlock.

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For information media - not an official record