"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
A teleconference of the Middle Quartet of international mediators at the ministerial level took place on June 15 with the participation of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, High Representative for European Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, FRG Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighborhood Policy.
The critical situation that has now evolved in the Palestinian territories was discussed. The Quartet members spoke for the necessity to ensure constitutional order there and in support of the PNA Head, Mahmoud Abbas.
There was emphasized on the Russian side the importance of restoring inter-Palestinian consensus in the interest of preserving the prospects for solving the chief task of achieving a Palestinian-Israeli settlement. The significance of backing the PNA Head and other lawful Palestinian institutions was pointed out in this context. In these dramatic circumstances the international Quartet should also display its responsibility as a vehicle for assisting the quest for peace in the region.
On the same day Sergey Lavrov held telephone conversations with PNA Head Mahmoud Abbas, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt Ahmed Aboul Gheit and High Representative for European Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana. Their keynote was serious concern over the sharp aggravation in inter-Palestinian affairs and the importance of halting the bloodshed as soon as possible.
Mahmoud Abbas stressed his intention to act within the legal field. He noted the necessity of international assistance in de-escalating tension and normalizing inter-Palestinian relations.
The Egyptian minister accentuated the significance of the Quartet’s role in the current situation. He informed Lavrov that an Arab League Council of Foreign Ministers meeting now being urgently convened would consider immediate measures to stabilize conditions and restore legality in the Palestinian territories.
In the conversation with Javier Solana the main emphasis on both sides was also laid on the tasks before the Quartet as an effective instrument of facilitating the stabilization of the situation.
The interlocutors agreed that the Quartet’s meetings with the parties in conflict and with the Arab League representatives, scheduled for June 26-27, must help normalize the situation and remove the obstacles in the path to the start of negotiations on a comprehensive Middle East settlement.
Russia bears in mind to continue intensive contacts with all the concerned parties, including the representatives of the Israeli leadership.