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Middle East Quartet Condemns Suicide Bombing

Middle East Quartet Condemns Suicide Bombing In Israel, Calls On Syria To Act

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the other principles of the Diplomatic Quartet today consulted on the latest violence in the Middle East, condemning Wednesday's terrorist attack in Israel claimed by the Damascus-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad and calling on Syria to take immediate action against the group.

Mr. Annan spoke by telephone from New York with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, High Representative for European Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, and European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

"The Quartet urges the Syrian Government to take immediate action to close the offices of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and to prevent the use of its territory by armed groups engaged in terrorist acts," the Quartet said in a statement.

"The Quartet denounces all acts of terrorism and urges all parties to exercise restraint, avoid an escalation of violence, and keep channels of communication open. The Quartet strongly encourages and supports the Palestinian Authority in its immediate effort to take steps to prevent armed groups from acting against law and order and the policy of the Authority itself."

The Quartet has sponsored the Road Map for Middle East Peace, which calls for a series of parallel steps leading to two States living side-by-side in peace, originally by the end of this year.

"The Quartet believes it is imperative that all involved act decisively to ensure that terror and violence are not allowed to undermine further progress in accordance with the Road Map," the statement concluded.

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