Annan dispatches senior envoys to the Middle East for talks on implementing

Stephane Dujarric told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York that Mr. Annan is dispatching his Special Political Adviser Vijay Nambiar and his Special Envoy Terje Roed-Larsen, who are scheduled to leave tomorrow and then return at some point next week.The full programme of meetings for Mr. Nambiar and Mr. Roed-Larsen has not yet been set, Mr. Dujarric added, but their role will be to help Mr. Annan fulfil his duties under the Council resolution to help the parties meet their commitments.In New York today, Mr. Annan also held a meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni about the current situation. Speaking to reporters after their encounter, the Foreign Minister said, “Part of the discussion that I had with Secretary-General Annan assured me that we have the same goals.”Mr. Nambiar and Mr. Roed-Larsen will set off as Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown chairs a meeting tomorrow at UN Headquarters of potential troop contributing countries for the expanded UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).Resolution 1701, passed unanimously by the Council, called for an expanded force of up to 15,000 peacekeepers to help the Lebanese army deploy 15,000 of its own troops to exert control over the country’s southern flank as the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) simultaneously withdraws from those areas it occupies. This expansion was slated to follow a cessation of hostilities between the IDF and Hizbollah, which came into effect on Monday morning local time.Yesterday a senior UN official said the Organization wants to see a strengthened UNIFIL as soon as practicable, with a vanguard unit of some 3,000 or 3,500 troops possibly in place on the ground within the next 10 days or so. He called for firm commitments from nations at tomorrow’s meeting of potential troop contributors. read more