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UN chief meets with Israeli, Turkish panelists of inquiry on flotilla incident

08-11-2010 08:29 BJT

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday met with the four members of the panel of inquiry on the Israeli raid on a Turkish aid flotilla bound for Gaza on May 31.

The Panel of Inquiry on the Flotilla Incident, headed by former prime minister of New Zealand Geoffrey Palmer (2nd L), and vice-chaired by outgoing President of Colombia Alvaro Uribe Velez(2nd R), the Israeli member Joseph Ciechanover (1st R) and Turkish member Ozdem Sanberk (1st L), meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the UN headquarters in New York, the United States, Aug. 10, 2010. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday met with the four members of the panel of inquiry on the Israeli raid on a Turkish aid flotilla bound for Gaza on May 31. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)
The Panel of Inquiry on the Flotilla Incident, headed by former prime minister of New 
Zealand Geoffrey Palmer (2nd L), and vice-chaired by outgoing President of Colombia 
Alvaro Uribe Velez(2nd R), the Israeli member Joseph Ciechanover (1st R) and Turkish 
member Ozdem Sanberk (1st L), meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the UN 
headquarters in New York, the United States, Aug. 10, 2010. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday met with the four members of the panel of inquiry on the Israeli raid on 
a Turkish aid flotilla bound for Gaza on May 31. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)
Headed by former prime minister of New Zealand Geoffrey Palmer and vice-chaired by outgoing President of Colombia Alvaro Uribe, the panel includes Israeli member Joseph Ciechanover and Turkish member Ozdem Sanberk.

"The panel will spend the coming days determining how they will undertake their task and their efforts," said a UN readout of the meeting. The panel is set to issue its first progress report by Sept. 15, 2010.

The secretary-general stressed that panel members should seek " the fullest cooperation" of both the Turkish and Israeli national authorities.

UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters that the panel is scheduled to begin its first meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

On June 1, the UN Security Council adopted a presidential statement calling for a prompt, fair, transparent investigation that conforms to international standards.

"The panel is not designed to determine individual criminal responsibility, but to examine and identify the facts, circumstances and the context of the incident, as well as to recommend ways of avoiding future incidents," said the readout.

In the context of its inquiry, the panel will review reports of national investigations into the incident that left nine dead and request additional information as it deems necessary from relevant national authorities.

Meanwhile, Ban expressed the hope that the panel of inquiry will provide a positive contribution to the broader Middle East peace process, and specifically to improving relations between Turkey and Israel.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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