UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday had a phone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the Middle East peace process, a UN readout said.
The readout, issued here by Ban's spokesman late Thursday, said "The secretary-general, who is in Japan, spoke by telephone with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday morning Japan time, or Thursday early evening New York time."
"The secretary-general and Secretary Clinton discussed the Middle East peace process and efforts to move to direct talks," the readout said, "They also discussed the role of the Quartet in the peace process."
The Middle East Quartet, which groups the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia, has been making diplomatic efforts to establish an independent Palestinian state living in peace together with Israel.
Ban also briefed Clinton on his recent conversations with leaders in that region, the readout added.
Ban is in Hiroshima, Japan, to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony on Friday, the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombing of that city. He is the first UN secretary-general to attend the ceremony in an official capacity, strengthening his appeal for the abolition of nuclear arms.