With Annapolis behind us, we will now focus urgently on the next steps that are
necessary from the international community. This will be one of the topics that we will discuss in upcoming meetings with our Quartet partners, the first of which will be held on or around December 17th. On or around that same day, the French Government will host a donors conference in Paris to support Palestinian reform and institution building. We heard today from former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad and Defense Minister Barak about this important work.
This conference will be an essential opportunity for the international community to pledge tangible and generous assistance to the economic development of Palestinian society and to provide maximal resources for the Palestinian Authority's program of institutional building in preparation for statehood. We expect broad international attendance at this meeting and I want to thank the French Government for its willingness to organize the conference.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Russian news agencies Wednesday his country will host the next international conference on the Middle East. He added, "We have yet to agree on the timing and agenda of this meeting."