The United Nations and its diplomatic partners in the search for Middle East peace today underlined their appeal to Israel and the Palestinians to create an atmosphere conducive to the resumption of stalled peace talks and urged both parties to refrain from provocative actions.
After meeting both parties separately in Jerusalem, envoys of the so-called Quartet – the UN, the European Union, Russia and the United States – and Quartet Representative Tony Blair urged the two sides to have direct engagements immediately and without preconditions, advising them to begin with a preparatory meeting, which would be followed by the presentation of proposals on territory and security.
“[The] envoys remain engaged and committed to assisting the parties resume direct negotiations to achieve a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the Middle East,” said a statement released by the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, after the separate meetings with representatives from the two parties.
Direct talks stalled in late September last year after Israel refused to extend its freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory.
That decision prompted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from direct talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which had only resumed a few weeks earlier after a two-year hiatus.