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UN's Annan backs envoy after his ban by Palestinians

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan gave full backing to his Middle East envoy Terje Roed-Larsen, who was banned by the Palestinians over his harsh criticism of Yasser Arafat. Roed-Larsen said Tuesday that Arafat’s Palestinian Authority government was on the verge of collapse and that the Palestinian leader had not shown the political will to reform it, as demanded by the international community. “The secretary general wishes to express his full support and confidence in Mr Terje Roed-Larsen as his special coordinator for the Middle East peace process,” spokeswoman Marie Okabe said in a statement.Full Story

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