Middle East peace talks: today the Quartet issued a statement which reaffirms their support for direct negotiations and calls on the Israelis and Palestinians to launch negotiations September 2 in Washington, D.C.  Asked about the SG’s reaction to the reported agreement to resume direct talks, the Spokesperson said he is awaiting official confirmation of the decision.

Pakistan: in yesterday’s GA session on Pakistan, an additional $200 million was pledged for Pakistan, including $60 million from the U.S., bringing its bilateral assistance to over $150 million, 92% of which is in support of the UN’s relief efforts.  UNICEF ED Lake issued a statement this morning declaring that the crisis has reached “tragic proportions” and urging increased support.

Somalia: today the SG issued a report on ways to prosecute persons arrested for piracy off the coast of Somalia (including proposals for domestic courts, regional and/or international tribunals), pursuant to a request from the Security Council.  The report is likely to be considered in next week’s August 25 Security Council debate on Somali piracy.

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