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Israel Urged To Fulfill its Obligations

Quartet Meets in London; Erakat Urges it to Compel Israel to Fulfill its Obligations

PALESTINE, June 23, 2005 (IPC+Agencies) ---On the eve of the Quartet meeting, Dr. Saa'b Erakat, the chief Negotiator urged the Quartet to press on Israel to implement its commitments particularly the release of the political prisoners in the Israeli jails.

Erekat said he demanded the Quartet representatives at the Palestinian National Authority in a meeting in Jericho "a swift intervention to bow Israeli government to fulfill its obligations regarding the release of the prisoners aside of any criteria."

The Middle East Quartet (Russia, the EU, U.S., and the UN), cosponsor the Road Map peace plan, will gather on Today Thursday in the British capital to assess US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice tour in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

Specifically, it is going to review the June 21 meeting in Jerusalem between President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

A senior British official said on Tuesday the quartet also will discuss the Israel's planned withdrawal from Gaza

The Quartet meeting is to be attended by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavro

The US daily NewYourk Times, World Bank president, James D. Wolfensohn's Wolfensohn is seeking to turn Israel's planned withdrawal from Gaza into an economic opportunity for many of the poorest Palestinians.

"Palestinians need to feel that in their own governed territory they can establish order, they can establish economic viability and hope, and can create jobs, " the daily quoted him saying in an interview at the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem,

In a related development, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said the international Quartet on Mideast peace will expand to a sextet with the accession of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Egypt's official MENA news agency reported Wednesday.

According to Saudi press reports, Rice made the remarks during her visit to the Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, MENA said.

The accession of the two Middle East countries into the Quartet, which includes the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia, will promote peace, Rice was quoted as saying.

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