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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
29 July 2010



Spokesperson's Noon Briefing

        Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York


HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

Middle East

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO MEET EHUD BARAK IN NEW YORK, FOLLOWING CALLS TO SEVERAL LEADERS IN THE REGION

The Secretary-General will meet on Friday with Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. He expects to discuss a range of issues with him, including the situation in Gaza and the need to continue Israel's freeze on settlement activity.

The Secretary-General also made a number of calls to senior leaders in the region yesterday, in his continuing efforts to encourage the parties in the
Middle East peace process to move forward in the peace process. He spoke by telephone separately with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, with Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa and with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, underscoring his support for proceeding towards meaningful direct talks.

Asked about the League of Arab States’ agreement in principle to direct talks, the Spokesperson noted that the Arab League Secretary-General was one of the people whom the Secretary-General had contacted by phone on Wednesday.


He said that the Secretary-General has been playing a very important role in moving the process forward and communicating with the parties. Recently, Nesirky noted, the Secretary-General had also spoken about the peace process with the US envoy, George Mitchell.

EAST JERUSALEM: U.N. SPECIAL COORDINATOR DEPLORES TAKEOVER OF PALESTINIAN HOUSE BY ISRAELI SETTLERS

Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, issued a statement today deploring what he called an “unacceptable action” by armed Israeli settlers who forcibly took over a building, which is home to nine Palestinian families, in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City in East Jerusalem.
 

Serry called on the Israeli authorities to remove the settlers from the property and restore the previous status quo.

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