Israelis, Palestinians should give diplomacy a chance: UN
UNITED NATIONS - While the Security Council mulls over the Palestinian application to become a Member State, a top UN official Tuesday called on the Israelis and the Palestinians to return to negotiations to reach a comprehensive and lasting settlement.
Judged by the passions of last week, the parties remain far apart. No one can deny the depth of their dispute, Under-Secretary-General Lynn Pascoe told the Security Council in his monthly update on the Middle East.
But there are now some building blocks in place that could help make negotiations more effective than before a clear timetable, expectations that the parties must come forward with proposals, and an active role of the Quartet, he said, referring to the diplomatic group comprising the EU, Russia, the UN and the US. It will not be easy to chart a way forward, but now is the time for everyone to give diplomacy a chance, he stated.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been stalled since late September last year after Israels refusal to extend a 10-month freeze on settlement activity. The talks had only resumed a few weeks earlier after a two-year hiatus.
Last Friday the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, submitted an application to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for Palestine which is currently has observer status to be a Member State of the UN, a move the United States has threated to veto.