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UN chief satisfied with outcome of Annapolis conference
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13:57, November 29, 2007

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is "very satisfied" with the outcome of the U.S.-sponsored Middle East peace conference held in Annapolis, Maryland, a UN spokesman said Wednesday.

The secretary-general has called the conference "historic" and an initiative that deserves global support, associate spokesman Farhan Haq said at the UN headquarters.

Ban said the quartet leaders have agreed to meet again next month in a follow-up meeting, according to Haq.

Ban issued his commentaries on the conference that it's in need to deal with the situation in Gaza, which homes some 1.4 million Palestinians, Haq said.

The UN will continue to deal with Palestinian President MahmoudAbbas and to encourage the peace process between Palestine and Israel, Haq quoted Ban as saying.

The world body is committed to supporting the peace process andthe UN chief is hopeful that other parties will involve themselves in it, Haq added.

The two leaders of Palestine and Israel have said in a Tuesday's joint statement that they "agree to engage in vigorous, ongoing and continuous negotiations and shall make every effort to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008."

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said that he would take risks and make efforts to complete peace negotiations with Palestine in 2008, adding a peace agreement between both sides would lead to peace with all Arab nations and the whole Muslim world.

"We have accomplished putting the train on the track," Abbas has said. "Now the train needs coal, electricity and iron."

Nearly 50 countries and international organizations, including some 16 Arab nations, attended the Mideast peace conference, which started on Nov. 27 in Annapolis.

This is first such conference since the Bush administration took office in seven years. It is being seen as a new round of U.S. efforts to resume Israeli-Palestinian peace talks seven years after the last one with the aim at the creation of a Palestinian state by January 2009 when Bush's second term ends.

Source: Xinhua

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