Annan arrives in Egypt ahead of international conference on Iraq

After meeting this evening with his senior advisers – Lakhdar Brahimi, Terje Roed-Larsen, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process; and Ashraf Qazi, his Special Representative for Iraq – the Secretary-General will attend an official dinner hosted by Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abou Gheit.Mr. Annan is also scheduled to hold talks tomorrow evening with the other members of the Middle East Quartet – the European Union, Russian Federation and United States – which has sponsored the Road Map peace plan calling for two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace by 2005.The Secretary-General travelled to Egypt from Tanzania, where on Saturday, he praised the final document put out by the International Conference on Peace, Security, Democracy and Development in the Great Lakes Region as the product of compromise and dialogue.”No one has got everything they wanted from this process. But everyone has got what they need: a real chance for peace, stability, democracy and development in a vast region – a region that is home to millions upon millions of people who deserve a better future,” he told the assembled Heads of State and government.Speaking to reporters at a press conference afterward, Mr. Annan said, “Today, at last, we can glimpse a better future on the horizon.” The real test, he added, starts now, as leaders design the framework for implementing their commitments.

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