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On 19 June, during an open briefing on recent developments in the Middle East, the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, stressed that sporadic clashes, military operations and announcements of settlement construction in the West Bank by Israel were challenging the positive environment created by recent fragile forward steps in the Israeli-Palestinian talks. He noted that Quartet envoys, after meeting in Brussels on 15 June, agreed that there was an urgent need for the parties to continue to pursue the current efforts towards resumed dialogue and substantive negotiations and that it was time for them to take the necessary steps towards that goal. He also reassured the Council that the Secretary-General, together with the Quartet, would stress the need to renew dialogue and make real progress towards the two-State solution. He emphasized that only a direct and meaningful dialogue can help restore belief in a negotiated peace.
Turning to the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, the Assistant Secretary-General said achieving a full and sustained cessation of violence and seeking a peaceful resolution of the crisis was at the centre of United Nations efforts. On the situation in Lebanon, he said that the country continued to face challenges to its security and stability, in part because of the crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic.
During closed consultations that followed, members of the Council stressed the importance of resuming Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and encouraged both sides to keep direct contact so as to maintain the positive momentum for the resumed dialogue and negotiations. Some members condemned unilateral actions, in particular the construction of settlements in occupied Palestinian territories. Some members stressed the urgency of reaching comprehensive peace in the Middle East, and called for vigorous diplomatic action to attain lasting peace in the region based on an enduring commitment by the two parties to mutual recognition, the two-State solution, and building upon previous agreements and obligations. Some members emphasized the United Nations role in the Quartet to support the parties in their efforts to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Several members also reiterated their support for a visit by the Security Council to the Middle East.