The Middle East Quartet, the international diplomatic grouping that includes the United Nations, will meet in Lisbon next Thursday to assess the latest developments in the region and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend the gathering, his spokesperson announced today.
The Quartet meeting – the first since former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was appointed late last month as its new Representative – “comes at a crucial moment” and offers a forum “to discuss the way forward to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East,” the spokesperson’s statement noted.
It added that the Quartet principals, including Mr. Ban, will confer with Mr. Blair on how best to help the Palestinian Authority build its institutions and economy, “which are vital for the creation of a viable Palestinian state.”
Quartet principals last met face-to-face in Berlin at the end of May, but since then they have held talks by conference call after the eruption of intra-Palestinian violence, especially in the Gaza Strip, last month.
The Quartet members are the UN, the European Union, Russia and the United States.