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Annan Bids Farewell to Gaza Diplomat

Annan Bids Appreciative Farewell to Gaza Disengagement Diplomat

New York, May 2 2006 4:00PM

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today expressed deep appreciation for the work of James Wolfensohn, the envoy for the diplomatic group sponsoring the Middle East peace process who helped facilitate Israeli disengagement from Gaza and whose mandate finished at the end of April.

“Mr. Wolfensohn’s experience, wisdom and dedication were instrumental in helping to ensure a peaceful Gaza disengagement and establishing a framework for the future revival of the Palestinian economy,” Mr. Annan said through a statement issued by his spokesman.

“The Secretary-General has relied extensively on Mr. Wolfensohn’s expertise and advice, and his contribution to efforts to achieve a peaceful solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict,” the spokesman added.

Mr. Wolfensohn, formerly President of the World Bank, was appointed in April 2005 by the Middle East Quartet made up of the United Nations, United States, European Union and the Russian Federation to help oversee the disengagement and coordinate revitalization efforts once Palestinian authorities took over the area.

Though the withdrawal was successfully completed by September 2005, Mr. Wolfensohn was asked to remain at the post longer to help facilitate the recovery of the Palestinian economy as well as to resolve remaining issues associated with the disengagement.

ENDS

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