HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SPOKESMAN'S NOON BRIEFING

BY FRED ECKHARD
SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
 OF THE UNITED NATIONS

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

PALESTINIANS AND ISRAELIS MEET WITH UN, DONORS IN OSLO

  • Today in Oslo, the UN Middle East Envoy, Terje Roed-Larsen, attended a meeting of the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee. This group brings together the donor countries, alongside the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF and the Palestinians and Israelis.
  • This was the first time in almost a year that Israeli and Palestinian officials sat face to face and exchanged views. Participants said the meeting took place in a positive spirit of cooperation as recent developments on the ground offered new opportunities.
  • Donors and the United Nations said steps should be taken by Israel to lift the closures in the Palestinian territory to increase freedom of movement and ease the humanitarian situation for the Palestinians. 
  • They also urged the Palestinian to redouble their reform efforts, specifically in the judicial and security areas. The Palestinian delegation was congratulated for a smooth political transition.
  • Asked about UN involvement in the Palestinian election plan, the Spokesman said that the United Nations had been advising the Palestinians on the election process. More recently, a European Union official took charge of the process, but the United Nations remains involved.

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