The following note was issued today in New York by the Middle East Quartet following informal consultations:
The Middle East Quartet (United Nations, Russian Federation, United States, European Union) and Quartet Representative Blair held informal consultations today to assess developments since its statement of 23 September 2011.
Quartet Principals remain committed to the overall objectives of the statement. In this regard, they welcome the important effort led by Jordan, which began in early January, as part of the shared commitment to reach a negotiated agreement by the end of this year.
The Quartet also discussed the grave situation in Gaza and southern Israel, expressed serious concern for the recent escalation and called for calm.
The Quartet reiterates its call on the parties to remain engaged and to refrain from provocative actions.
The Quartet decided to meet in Washington in April.