24 September 2010 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to helping achieve a comprehensive Middle East peace agreement within one year, and a negotiated settlement which ends the occupation that began in 1967, as he met with the President of the Palestinian Authority.
Meeting on the margins of the General Assembly’s high-level general debate, Mr. Ban and Mahmoud Abbas discussed the recent launch of the first face-to-face talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians in 19 months, which took place in Washington D.C. in early September.
The direct negotiations, which followed months of proximity talks between the two sides, aims to resolve borders, security, refugees, Jerusalem and all other core issues, with the leaders deciding to meet every fortnight and to work on a framework agreement on permanent status.
Mr. Ban spoke of the importance of ensuring a positive environment on the ground to support the negotiations, according to his spokesperson.
He and Mr. Abbas also discussed the State-building agenda, and the achievements of the Palestinian Authority in that area, as well as reviewed the situation in the Gaza Strip.
In addition, the Secretary-General stressed the UN’s commitment to Palestinian reconciliation, and his support for ongoing efforts to achieve this goal.