10 May 2006

Secretary-General Meets in New York with Foreign Ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia

NEW YORK, 9 May (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

Following the Quartet's meeting with the regional partners this morning in New York, the Secretary-General held a separate meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit; Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdul Ilah Khatib; and the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Saud al Faisal.  They discussed the ongoing political environment in the Middle East, including the situation in Palestine, and developments in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Darfur.

On Palestine, in addition to the political situation, the participants discussed the importance of the United Nations system continuing to provide assistance to the Palestinian people, including UNRWA's critical role with the Palestinian refugees.  They also discussed the importance for all to cooperate with UNRWA in fulfilling its mandate.

On Iran, the participants stressed the need for a diplomatic solution to the current situation.

On Darfur, the participants welcomed the recent agreement in Abuja and emphasized the importance of continued cooperation with relevant actors on the ground.

Also participating in the meeting with the Secretary-General were the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari; UNRWA [The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] Commissioner-General Karen Koning AbuZayd; the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Alvaro de Soto; the Secretary-General's Special Representative in Iraq, Ashraf Qazi; and his Special Envoy for Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559, Terje Roed-Larsen.

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