» Monday, December 6, 2004

Middle East

Asked if the Prime Minister would be visiting the Middle East in January, and whether there was any further development on a Middle East conference, the PMOS replied all such talk was premature. The next step was the process of the Palestinian elections, and helping those proceed.

When asked again about the Prime Minister visiting the Middle East, the PMOS said, as people knew, we did not comment on the Prime Minister’s travel plans.

Asked if the Prime Minister still saw any use in having a London Conference as early as possible after the Palestinian Elections in January, and had he now overcome President Bush’s objections to the conference, the PMOS replied that it was important to recognise the practical steps. These were, as was outlined in Washington, was to hold the Palestinian Elections, and to ensure they happened. The EU was contributing towards the cost in order to help that process occur. The next step was to help the Palestinian Authority to develop their security, economic and administrative infrastructure which would allow it to fill the vacuum once Israel leaves. It was best, that people did not jump to the end at this stage.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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