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Le Quatuor pour le Moyen-Orient salue la reprise des négociations israélo-palestiniennes - Centre d'actualités de l'ONU Français
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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
United Nations News Service (See also > DPI)
21 February 2007

Diplomatic Quartet backs renewed political process in Middle East – Ban Ki-moon

21 February 2007 Welcoming recent signs of progress between Israelis and Palestinians on improving the situation in the Middle East, the high-level diplomatic Quartet, which includes the United Nations, today reaffirmed its determination to promote dialogue between the two sides, while urging both to refrain from any actions that may adversely affect negotiations.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, along with the other Quartet principals representing the United States, Russia and the European Union, attended today’s meeting in Berlin, which was the second such gathering this month at the highest level. Its focus was the 8 February agreement on a new Palestinian Government as well as recent US initiatives in the region.

In a statement read by Mr. Ban following the meeting, the Quartet expressed hope that “the result-oriented dialogue initiated between Israeli and Palestinian leaders will continue in the framework of a renewed political process, with the aim of defining more clearly the political horizon and launching meaningful negotiations.”

The Quartet also reaffirmed its determination to promote this process, in cooperation with the parties and other regional partners, and urged the parties “to refrain from measures that prejudge issues to be resolved in negotiations.”

It also reiterated support for a Palestinian Government “committed to non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Road Map.” The Road Map peace plan, launched by the Quartet several years ago, envisions a two-State solution with Israelis and Palestinians living side-by-side in peace.

Along with Mr. Ban, today’s meeting involved Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, High Representative for European Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

Ever since Hamas won elections early last year and formed a Government, Israel stopped handing over tax and customs revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestine Authority, and international donors suspended direct aid, calling on Hamas to commit to non-violence, recognize Israel and accept previously signed agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Quartet reiterated these principles following the Mecca unity government accord, reached on 8 February in which Hamas, Fatah and independents will share portfolios.

Speaking at a press conference before today’s Quartet meeting, Mr. Ban stressed the global importance of bringing stability to the Middle East, saying that recent developments had given cause for some optimism, while acknowledging the difficulties that lie ahead.

“Peace and security in the Middle East has been longstanding and unresolved. This has great, very serious and important implications for world peace and security,” he said.

“I know that this will be again a very difficult process but this time what we need to do is to encourage the parties concerned” in support of the peace process.

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