UN chief advocates resumption of talks between Israel, PA

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday advocated resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authorities.

Updated: Apr 27, 2010, 23:30 PM IST

United Nations: UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday
advocated resumption of peace talks between Israel and the
Palestinian Authorities.

In a telephone conversation with the US envoy to the
Middle East George Mitchell, Ban discussed the continuing US
efforts to launch Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks and the
situation in Gaza, said a statement from Ban`s office.

"On Gaza, the Secretary-General noted that there had
been some progress since his own visit in March, though much
more needed to be done. He sought Mitchell`s continued support
to that end," it added.
Following his visit to occupied territories and the
Gaza strip in March, Ban underlined that Israeli and
Palestinian authorities must remain engaged in the US backed
proximity talks or indirect talks.

The Quartet (United Nations, Russia, European Union
and United States) also stressed that proximity talks should
move ahead, evolving into direct negotiations between the
parties as soon as possible. The goal is to resolve all issues
within 24 months.

Meanwhile, UN officials continue to slam Israel`s
blockade of Gaza, and the persisting settlement building in
the occupied territories.

On Monday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also
indicated that he is ready to commence indirect peace talks.

The direct talks between Israel and Palestine broke
down in December 2008 and there is considerable pressure on
both sides, especially from US President Barack Obama, to
resume the dialogue.
PTI