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UN political chief to attend Middle East Quartet meeting

UN political chief to attend Middle East Quartet meeting

The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs is heading to a meeting in Jerusalem on Thursday of the envoys of the Middle East Quartet, which brings together the UN, European Union, Russian Federation and United States, a spokesperson for the world body announced.

B. Lynn Pascoe, acting as the Secretary-General’s Envoy to the Quartet, also plans to hold meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials in Ramallah and Jerusalem, Marie Okabe said.

Mr. Pascoe will also stop in Bahrain, where he plans to meet with the Foreign Minister and to hold discussions at the US Central Command regarding security conditions concerning the work of the United Nations in Iraq, she said.

In addition, he will accompany Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Istanbul, where they will attend an expanded ministerial meeting of Iraq and its neighbours.

In another development, the spokesperson today announced the appointment of Max Gaylard of Australia to serve as the acting Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

A senior UN official with extensive experience in humanitarian and development coordination, Mr. Gaylard will travel to the region this week to lead the UN country team in the occupied Palestinian territory, Ms. Okabe said.

Mr. Gaylard, the Director of Mine Action with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), has previously served as the Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator in Somalia and as the Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq.