Ki-moon hopes Quartet will produce action on ME

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hopes the meeting Friday between the four-party group working to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace will go beyond "mere statements," UN officials said Thursday. Members of the so-called Quartet of Middle East peace brokers - the UN, the United States, the European Union and Russia - are scheduled to meet in Washington Friday in a much-anticipated gathering many hope will kick-start the stalled peace process. Ban "hopes that the Quartet will seriously engage with the key issues that have a direct impact on the situation on the ground, going beyond mere statements," his spokeswoman Michele Montas told reporters. "He is fully aware that within the region, and beyond, many are looking at the Quartet to be more energetic in its efforts ... to break the current impasse in the peace process," said Montas. "He believes that the Quartet should reach out to the parties and also other key regional partners for more systematic dialogue and involvement in the Quartet's deliberations."