Security Council members voice hope that political efforts will foster positive change

“Members of the Council noted various political efforts aimed at achieving the goals set out in Security Council resolutions,” said the current President of the Council, Ambassador Sergey Lavrov of the Russian Federation, in a statement to the press.”They expressed hope that all these efforts would bring about positive changes on the ground, including a non-violent resolution of the situation around Chairman [Yasser] Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah and the arrival the fact-finding team by the end of the week,” he added, referring to the mission initiated by Secretary-General Kofi Annan and welcomed by the Council to develop accurate information regarding recent events at the Jenin refugee camp.Council members were informed that the Secretary-General expected the fact-finding team to arrive in the region by the end of the week as originally planned, Ambassador Lavrov said. He added that the members would continue to follow the situation in order to ensure the implementation of the Council’s latest resolutions on the Middle East.Consultations on the situation in the Middle East are scheduled for tomorrow, according to the President, who said the members would be briefed by UN officials before holding another round of discussions on the Secretary-General’s initiative concerning a multinational force for the Palestinian territories.Meanwhile, talks in New York on the fact-finding mission between UN and Israeli officials suspended this afternoon. A UN spokesman announced that they will resume tomorrow morning.

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