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Tour of Arab capitals bidding for Mid East Peace

Senior UN envoy to embark on tour of Arab capitals in bid to boost Middle East peace

The top United Nations envoy for the Middle East peace process, Terje Roed-Larsen, is set to leave tomorrow on a nine-day regional tour of Arab capitals to follow up on the latest meeting of the diplomatic Quartet.

Mr. Roed-Larsen, the UN Special Co-ordinator, is scheduled to meet with senior government officials in Beirut, Damascus, Amman and Cairo, where he will engage in consultations on implementation of the Road Map and discuss possible ways for the Quartet’s regional partners to assist in this process, according to a UN spokesperson.

Following their meeting on Sunday on the shores of the Dead Sea in Jordan, the Quartet members – the United Nations, United States, Russian Federation and European Union – issued a statement hailing positive developments in the peace process and urging further efforts by both Israel and the Palestinian authorities to consolidate the gains achieved so far.

The Quartet also hailed the appointment of Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and the “strong start he and his Government have made in difficult circumstances,” as well as the acceptance by both sides of the Road Map which envisages, in 2005, two States – Israel and Palestine – living side by side in peace and security.

The statement also welcomed “the very positive message and personal commitment of President [George W. Bush] and his decision to place a mission on the ground charged with helping the parties to move toward peace, through establishment of a credible and effective structure led by the United States, in close cooperation with the Quartet, to coordinate, monitor, and promote implementation of the parties’ commitments and responsibilities, as laid out in the Road Map.”

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