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Ahead Of Quartet Talks, Ban Meets Officials In UK

Ahead of Middle East Quartet talks, Ban Ki-moon meets with officials in London

1 May 2008 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met today in London with senior officials who will take part in tomorrow's meeting of the Middle East diplomatic Quartet - comprising the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and the United States - being held as part of efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Mr. Ban held talks with Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commission for External Relations, and with Salam Fayad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority.

Later today and tomorrow, he plans to hold discussions with other officials, including Quartet envoy Tony Blair and European Union (EU) High Representative Javier Solana.

Tomorrow's Quartet meeting, which Mr. Ban will chair, will review all aspects of the peace process launched in the US city of Annapolis late last year and the situation on the ground.

While in London, the Secretary-General is also scheduled to take part in a session of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for the Palestinian Authority, a Norwegian initiative set up in 1992 to ensure that development assistance is used efficiently in relation to the peace process and to contribute to the development of Palestinian society.

Meanwhile in New York, General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim held talks yesterday with Slovakian Deputy Foreign Minister Olga Algayerova.

The Minister "expressed her Government's support for the work of the President during the current General Assembly session, especially regards his efforts to advance on reforms related to the work and composition of the Security Council and to UN management practices," according to a statement issued by Mr. Kerim's spokesperson.

The two officials conferred on the Central European nation's involvement in UN activities, including its status as a newly emerging development donor, and also discussed the appointment of Miroslav Jenca, a Slovak diplomat, to head the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Next week, Mr. Kerim will travel to London to participate in a special private sector meeting convened by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline.

The President will then make stops in Turkey and Egypt for official visits.

ENDS

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