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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
United Nations News Service (See also > DPI)
5 November 2008

Secretary-General to take part in Middle East Quartet meeting this weekend

5 November 2008 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend a meeting of the Middle East Quartet, the international diplomatic grouping aiming to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians, in the region this weekend, he announced today.

Mr. Ban told journalists that he expects Israeli and Palestinian leaders to brief the meeting, which will be attended by representatives of the European Union, Russia and the United States as well as the UN, about their ongoing negotiations towards a possible peace deal.

“That would be a very important occasion,” he said in response to questions, adding that he expects there will be discussions in the future with other Arab leaders.

Israeli and Palestinian officials have been holding talks over the past year as part of the Annapolis peace process, named after the US city where they were launched late last year. The Quartet has long backed a peace deal that would see two States living side by side in peace.

Meanwhile, in response to questions today about recent Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip, Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said the Secretary-General was concerned about the outbreak of violence in Gaza and southern Israel.

The spokesperson added that Mr. Ban urged full respect for the calm that was brokered by Egypt earlier this month.

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