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Security Council opens extensive debate on Middle East crisis

Security Council opens extensive debate on Middle East crisis

Amid reports of fresh clashes in the Middle East, the Security Council this evening opened an extensive debate on the situation in the region, and on the question of Palestine.

All of the Council’s 15 members were scheduled to take part in the meeting, along with representatives of 24 countries that are not members of the Council – including Israel and several other States in the region. The Observer for Palestine was also set to take part in the debate, as was the Chairman of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people.

This evening’s meeting comes just days after Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned the Security Council that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict risked sliding towards full-fledged war.

“We are nearing the edge of the abyss,” he told the Council during an open meeting last Thursday. Acknowledging that existing initiatives to bring the parties back to the negotiating table had not met with success, Mr. Annan called for full consideration of “imaginative new ideas.”