Mideast quartet renews call for Israeli-Palestinian talks

December 16th, 2008 - 6:17 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Dec 16 (DPA) The diplomatic mediating group on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has said that the two sides have to move forward in achieving a settlement that includes the establishment of a Palestinian state.High-ranking officials from the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia - the so-called quartet - met at UN headquarters in New York for yet another round of talks to assess the state of the negotiations between the two sides.

They said that the UN Security Council plans to adopt a resolution Tuesday to support the negotiations initiated in November 2007 at Annapolis, Maryland, where the two sides committed to the “irreversibility of the bilateral negotiations.”

The draft resolution would support the parties’ “agreed principles for the bilateral negotiating process and their determined efforts to reach their goal of concluding a peace treaty resolving all outstanding issues, including all core issues, without exception, which confirm the seriousness of the Annapolis process.”

It would urge an intensification of the diplomatic efforts to achieve a “comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”

The quartet issued a statement reaffirming its support for the “bilateral, comprehensive, direct, uninterrupted, confidential and ongoing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.”

A peace roadmap adopted by the quartet had called for achieving a Palestinian state by the end of 2008. While that target will not be met, the quartet urged the two sides to move on and lock in progress made so far in talks.

Attending the meeting were UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and top European Union diplomats.

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