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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
United Nations News Service (See also > DPI)
8 May 2006

Regional partners to join major Middle East parley at UN Headquarters

8 May 2006 – A UN spokesman announced today that the Foreign Ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan will participate in tomorrow’s high-level meeting of the of the Middle East diplomatic Quartet, the partnership of the United Nations, European Union (EU), Russia and the United States that is seeking a two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On Friday, it was announced that Quartet principals would include US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, with the EU represented by Javier Solana, its High Representative for a Common Foreign and Security Policy and Ursula Plassnik, Foreign Minister of Austria – which currently holds the EU Council presidency – as well as European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero Waldner.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the other principal Quartet members will meet with the regional ministers tomorrow morning before holding a separate meeting in the afternoon.

Following their meetings, the principals are expected to give a press conference at 5:00 p.m.

The meetings come just two weeks after the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Alvaro de Soto, warned the Security Council in his latest monthly update that the Middle East had reached a volatile juncture, with donors balking at funding the Hamas-led Palestinian Government, tensions between that administration and President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah, and continued settlement expansion by Israel.

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