Despite the ongoing violence in the Middle East, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said that envoys from the diplomatic Quartet - the UN, European Union, Russian Federation and United States - would be working "assiduously" to help realize the vision of Israel and Palestine living together in peace.
"We are at a stage today where we all share a common vision. The two parties - Israel and the Palestinians - have indicated that they are prepared to accept two States," the Secretary-General said in response to a reporter's question as he entered UN Headquarters in New York.
"What we need to do is to find a way to get there - as we need an operational pathway to get there in three years, which everybody seems to have agreed upon and this has been the issue that is occupying the Quartet and all those that want to see movement on this issue," he added.
Although the United States has a position on some issues "not entirely shared by the Quartet," the Secretary-General said, "there is a broad area of agreement that we want to work on and bring this issue to closure."
Meanwhile the Security Council held a brief discussion Tuesday on a draft resolution on the situation in the Middle East proposed last week by the Arab Group of States.
The Council President, Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom, told reporters that the 15 members were not able to reach consensus on that text; however, discussions would continue in informal consultations and the draft "remains on the table."