Underscoring the urgent need to restore calm amid escalating Israeli-Palestinians tensions, the United Nations and its Middle East Quartet partners today encouraged Israel to work together with Jordan to uphold the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem.
“The Quartet expresses grave concern over the continuing escalation of tensions between Israelis and Palestinians,” said a statement statement issued in Vienna, Austria. “The Quartet condemns all acts of terror and violence against civilians.”
“Underscoring the urgent need to restore calm the Quartet reiterates its call for maximum restraint and avoidance of provocative rhetoric and actions,” the statement said.
The statement was issued after a meeting of the representatives of the diplomatic grouping – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, United States Secretary of State John Kerry, European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, and Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon represented by his Special Coordinator on the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov.
Meanwhile, at UN Headquarters, Mr. Ban, just back from the Middle East, joined their discussions by video conference and highlighted that the Quartet remains committed to working with all relevant parties – on the ground, regionally and internationally – to create the conditions for a return to “meaningful bilateral negotiations.”
Today’s Quartet statement encouraged “Israel to work together with Jordan to uphold the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem in both word and practice, recognizing the special role of Jordan as per its peace treaty with Israel.”
It said Envoys of the Quartet will travel to the region in the coming period and engage directly with the parties to encourage them to take concrete actions, consistent with prior agreements, that demonstrate their genuine commitment to pursuing a two-state solution.
“Recalling its previous statements and relevant UN Security Council resolutions and recognizing that security measures alone cannot stop the cycle of violence, the Quartet calls for significant steps to be taken, consistent with the transition contemplated by prior agreements, in order to restore confidence and hope in the viability of a negotiated two-state solution that resolves the final status issues, including that of Jerusalem, and ends the occupation that began in 1967,” today’s statement noted.
The Quartet also reaffirmed its “strong commitment to act in coordination with regional and international stakeholders in an effort to stabilize the situation and to assure and actively support a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”