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UN in Talks With Rice Over Middle East Peace

Senior UN Envoy In Washington For Talks On Middle East Peace

A senior United Nations envoy is in Washington today for a meeting with United States National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice on the situation in the Middle East, including issues related to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's proposals concerning a withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, according to a UN spokesman in New York.

The talks between the UN Special Coordinator for the http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocusRel.asp?infocusID=70&Body=Palestin&Body1= Middle East, Terje Roed Larsen, and Ms. Rice will focus on ways in which the international community can assist the parties on the issue, as well as the other aspects of the peace process, including the Syrian and the Lebanese tracks.

Mr. Roed-Larsen is also representing the UN at a working-level meeting of the Quartet - also including the US, Russian Federation and European Union - intended to push forward the Middle East peace process. The meeting will discuss recent developments, including the withdrawal proposals on Gaza.

On the instructions of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Mr. Roed-Larsen will travel tomorrow to London to have discussions on these issues with the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw.

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