News / Middle East

Quartet Calls Israelis, Palestinians to Negotiating Table

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds up a copy of the letter that he had just delivered to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon requesting full UN representation for a Palestinian state, during his address before the 66th United Nations General Assembly
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds up a copy of the letter that he had just delivered to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon requesting full UN representation for a Palestinian state, during his address before the 66th United Nations General Assembly

The Middle East Quartet is urging the Israelis and Palestinians to return to the negotiating table within the next month and to make substantial progress on final status issues so they can achieve a two-state solution by next year. The Quartet’s push came as the Palestinians submitted their application for full U.N. membership on Friday.

The Quartet met Friday afternoon after both Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the General Assembly annual debate.

The group, which is made up of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations, then issued a statement calling the two parties back to the negotiating table.

European Union policy chief Catherine Ashton told reporters that the Quartet expects the parties to come together within the next month and then within three months they want to see significant progress on comprehensive proposals on borders and security.

“And that within six months we start to see this progress turned into reality. So, comprehensive approach set out as swiftly as possible and that these negotiations should be completed within the 12 month timeframe,” Ashton said.

Quartet Special Envoy Tony Blair noted that President Abbas had submitted the Palestinian application for full membership to the U.N. Secretary-General, but that would not conflict with the Quartet’s call to the negotiating table.

“President Abbas has lodged his application today with the United Nations. That will go into United Nations machinery. As I’ve said right throughout, the important thing is whatever happens at the United Nations is that it is combined with negotiations. We need the two things, not inconsistent with each other, but parallel and consistent with each other,” Blair said.

The Quartet statement, which diplomats have been negotiating for several weeks, also provides for an international conference to be held in Moscow to review progress and for a donors meeting for the Palestinian Authority.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed the statement, saying it represents the firm conviction of the international community that a just and lasting peace can only come through negotiations between the parties.

“Therefore, we urge both parties to take advantage of this opportunity to get back to talks. And the United States pledges our support as the parties themselves take the important next steps for a two-state solution, which is what all of us are hoping to achieve,” Clinton said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he hoped the two parties would respond constructively to the Quartet statement.

Quartet envoy Blair said the group cannot force either party back to the negotiating table, but if the Israelis and Palestinians are serious about peace, they will return to talks so they can lay out exactly where they stand on final status issues.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid