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

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Peace Activists Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified border, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs