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I should be grateful if the present letter and its annex could be circulated as a document of the Security Council.
In total, during the month of February, the Security Council held 11 official meetings and conducted informal consultations on 9 occasions. It adopted three resolutions and two presidential statements. The President also made three statements to the press on behalf of the Council.
Through its web site ( www.china-un.org), the presidency published in a regular and timely fashion the programme of work of the Council as well as activities carried out by the Council in February.
On 18 February, the Council held its monthly open briefing on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, Terje Roed-Larsen, briefed the Council, stating that the window of opportunity for resuming the peace process — based primarily on the stated willingness of both sides to talk to each other — remained open. He hoped that a first meeting between the two Prime Ministers would be held at the earliest possible date. He said that Mr. Sharon’s plan of unilateral withdrawal could not take place in a vacuum, and without cooperation from the Palestinian Authority and the assistance of the international community an orderly withdrawal was unlikely. He appealed to the parties to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the possible resumption of the peace process based on the withdrawal initiative, and the Quartet to re-engage with the parties and revitalize its efforts. In the informal consultations following the briefing, members of the Council agreed in general with the assessment of the situation by the Special Coordinator.