2006 News Story

Foreign Minister to attend Quartet meeting on the Middle East

Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal will today attend a meeting of the Quartet on the Middle East to discuss solutions to political and humanitarian problems in the region.

The meeting, to be held at the UN, will include representatives of the Quartet – US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana. In addition to Prince Saud, the foreign ministers from Jordan, Egypt and Austria will also attend, as will Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Turki Al-Faisal.

“We are here to find solutions to the issue of Palestine,” a Saudi diplomat told SPA. The diplomat noted that the meeting would likely involve discussing future strategies for funding the Palestinian Authority as well as key political issues.

Although UN officials and Middle Eastern diplomats have said there is no scheduled agenda for the Quartet talks, participants are expected to discuss how to deliver humanitarian aid to the Palestinian territories.

Quartet members and regional foreign ministers are scheduled to meet Tuesday morning and again at a working luncheon at the UN Secretariat. The Quartet will hold another meeting in the afternoon, which will not be attended by the regional foreign ministers.

Over a month ago, Saudi Arabia pledged $92 million to the Palestinian Authority. The Authority now has pledges of more than $200 million, including $10 million from Russia and $50 million each from Qatar and Iran.