November 26th, 2007 05:45 EST
U.S. to host Olmert, Abbas, others at U.S. Naval Academy November 27
Washington – Forty-nine nations, organizations and individuals have been invited to attend the U.S.-sponsored international Middle East conference November 26-28 in Annapolis, Maryland, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says.
"The Annapolis Conference will signal broad international support for the Israeli and Palestinian leaders' courageous efforts and will be a launching point for negotiations leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state and the realization of Israeli-Palestinian peace," McCormack said at a State Department briefing November 20.
The United States will host Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, along with the members of the Quartet, which includes the United Nations, European Union, Russia and the United States, the members of the Arab League Follow-on Committee, the Group of Eight major industrialized nations, the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, and other key international actors for a conference at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, he said.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will host a dinner the preceding evening in Washington, where President Bush will deliver remarks. Bush and the Israeli and Palestinian leaders will deliver speeches to open the formal conference in Annapolis on November 27, McCormack said.
McCormack said those invited to attend the conference are as follows:
Arab League Secretary-General
European Union Commission
European Union High Representative
European Union President (Portugal)
Quartet Special Envoy Tony Blair
United Arab Emirates
Observers include the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)