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In Geneva, Annan briefed by his envoy on Middle East developments

In Geneva, Annan briefed by his envoy on Middle East developments

Kofi Annan speaks to press
Secretary-General Kofi Annan today discussed the escalating violence in the Middle East with his Special Envoy for the peace process, Terje Roed-Larsen, who just concluded a series of contacts on the situation in the region with key officials.

Meeting in Geneva, the Secretary-General and Mr. Roed-Larsen reviewed the latest developments in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Mr. Roed-Larsen had met on Monday with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Gaza, and also with Russian Special Envoy Andre Vdovin and European Union Special Envoy Miguel Moratinos.

In a separate meeting on financial issues, Mr. Annan discussed prospects for a new round of global trade talks with Rubens Ricupero, the head of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Their talks also covered the current high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council, now in session in Geneva.

Also today, the Secretary-General discussed the situation in the Balkans with his former Special Envoy for that region, Carl Bildt.

Mr. Annan is scheduled to travel to Rome tomorrow before proceeding to Genoa on Friday to attend the summit meeting of the "Group of Eight" countries. According to his spokesman, the Secretary-General's participation will primarily involve urging support for the proposed Global Fund for AIDS and Health.