The following statement was issued today by the Middle East Quartet ( United Nations, Russian Federation, United States and European Union):
The Quartet condemns Israel’s decision to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem. The Quartet has agreed to closely monitor developments in Jerusalem and to keep under consideration additional steps that may be required to address the situation on the ground. The Quartet reaffirms that unilateral actions taken by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community.
The Quartet reiterates that Arab-Israeli peace and the establishment of an independent, contiguous and viable State of Palestine is in the fundamental interests of the parties, of all States in the region, and of the international community. In this regard, the Quartet calls on all concerned to support the urgent resumption of dialogue between the parties and to promote an atmosphere that is conducive to successful negotiations to resolve all outstanding issues of the conflict, including the status of Jerusalem. The Quartet will take full stock of the situation at its meeting in Moscow on 19 March.