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Egypt Supports Planned Israeli Pullout From Gaza

Diplomatic 'Quartet' Hails Egypt's Support For Planned Israeli Pullout From Gaza

Members of the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East today hailed Egypt's efforts to help both sides to the conflict to establish arrangements supporting the Israeli initiative to withdraw from Gaza, the United Nations reported.

The UN was represented by senior envoy Terje Roed-Larsen at today's meeting in Taba, Egypt. Also attending were US Assistant Secretary of State William Burns, Russian Middle East Envoy Alexander Kalugin and European Union Special Representative Marc Otte.

The envoys welcomed the release today of a new World Bank study which recommends that Israel introduce technologies and administrative methods to facilitate orderly flow of cargo and the maintenance of security in the Gaza Strip.

The paper also calls for the Palestinian Authority to make "credible security efforts and to commit itself to a reinvigorated program of reforms designed to create an investor-friendly business environment."

Quartet members, in a statement, undertook to "carefully consider" the World Bank's recommendations in planning to ensure that Palestinian economic and humanitarian needs are met.

The four members also agreed to continue working closely with the parties in the coming months "to take advantage of the opportunity presented by Gaza withdrawal as a step toward restarting progress on the Road Map, and achieving the two-State vision."

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