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UN Lebanon For Talks With Senior Officials

UN Middle East Envoy In Lebanon For Talks With Senior Officials

The chief United Nations envoy for the Middle East peace process, Terje Roed-Larsen, was in Beirut today to meet with senior officials of Lebanon and brief them on last week's Quartet meeting in New York.

Following separate meetings with Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the Speaker of the Parliament, Nabih Berri, Mr. Roed-Larsen said he reiterated Secretary-General Kofi Annan's position that on the Palestinian track, final status issues should be resolved between the parties and the parties alone, within the framework of the Road Map.

The Road Map is a plan sponsored by the UN, European Union, Russian Federation and United States calling for a series of parallel and reciprocal steps leading to two states - Israel and Palestine - living side-by-side in peace by 2005.

Mr. Roed-Larsen also said Israel's proposed withdrawal from Gaza "should mark a proper end of the occupation in Gaza" and must take place within the broader framework of a region wide peace process, including the Lebanese and Syrian tracks.

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