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Quartet to discuss Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Written by: Staff

United Nations, May 6: In a bid to bring a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the diplomatic Quartet -- the UN, European Union, Russia and the US -- will hold a high level meeting in New York on Tuesday.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will play host to the high-level meet, which is expected to be attended by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The EU will be represented by its High Representative for a Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana. Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik of Austria, which currently holds the EU Council presidency, as well as European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero Waldner will also be present.

It comes just two weeks after the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Alvaro de Soto, warned the Security Council in his latest monthly update that the situation had reached a volatile juncture, with donors balking at funding the Hamas-led Palestinian government.

''We are witnessing a potentially dangerous deterioration of the situation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,'' he said then, noting that the funding crisis was due to the failure of the new Palestinian government to commit to the principles of nonviolence, recognition of Israel's right to exist and acceptance of previous commitments and obligations.

The Quartet is sponsoring the long-running road map peace plan which seeks to establish two states -- Israel and Palestine -- living side by side in peace, originally targeted to be achieved by the end of last year.


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