Ban appoints Netherlands' diplomat Robert Serry as Mideast envoy

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon informed the UN Security Council Thursday that he intends to appoint Robert H. Serry, a career diplomat from the Netherlands, as his top Mideast envoy. Serry, whose most recent post was as the Netherlands' ambassador to Ireland, has also served in Bangkok, Moscow, New York, and Kiev. In a letter to the current council president, Ban said Serry would be the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process and his personal representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority. He will also act as Ban's representative to the so-called Quartet of key international players trying to promote Mideast peace which includes the UN, the US, the European Union and Russia.