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26 April 2002

UN News Service
Annan accedes to Israeli request that fact-finding mission
arrive on Sunday

26 April Following two days of meetings in New York between United Nations officials and an Israeli delegation to discuss a UN fact-finding mission to Jenin, a spokesman for the world body announced that Secretary-General Kofi Annan had agreed to a request that the team arrive on Sunday.

"The UN has been informed that the Israeli Cabinet will take a formal decision on the matter on Sunday morning, 28 April," said a statement released by Mr. Annan's spokesman in the early evening. "The Foreign Minister has requested that due to the Israeli Sabbath, the team arrive on Sunday. Given these special circumstances, the Secretary-General has agreed to this request."

Saying that the discussions were held in a "cordial and constructive atmosphere," the statement noted that the UN had provided clarifications on the upcoming mission.

Meanwhile in Geneva, members of the fact-finding team continued their organizational meetings today "to assess their needs for the upcoming mission," according to a press statement released by a spokesman travelling with the team.

The statement said that it had been decided that the team's police adviser, Thomas Peter Fitzgerald of Ireland, "would be assisted by two senior Irish police officers." It noted that more experts would be added on as necessary, and stressed that "the team expects to be in the Middle East by this weekend."


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