UN vote underlines need for Mideast peace talks: EU

Paris: EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Tuesday`s vote at the UN Security Council on Palestinian statehood underlined the need for Israel and the Palestinians to urgently resume peace negotiations.

Paris: EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Tuesday`s vote at the UN Security Council on Palestinian statehood underlined the need for Israel and the Palestinians to urgently resume peace negotiations.

The Security Council failed to adopt an Arab-backed resolution that would have paved the way to a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, after the United States said it ignored Israel`s security concerns.

The resolution set a 12-month deadline for Israel to reach a final peace deal with the Palestinians and called for a full Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territories by the end of 2017.

The vote "underlines once again the urgency of resuming meaningful negotiations between the parties and the need for the international community to focus on concrete achievements" to reach a final settlement, Mogherini said in a statement.

In a sign of EU divisions, France and Luxembourg voted for the resolution, but Britain abstained as the measure fell short of winning the nine "yes" votes necessary for adoption by the 15-member council.

Mogherini said, however, all sides still want to build a comprehensive peace agreement based on two states "living side by side in peace and security and mutual recognition".

She added: "The European Union believes that setting clear parameters for the negotiations is key for their success."

Mogherini said these should "be defined on the basis" of land-for-peace UN resolutions that were reinforced by the Madrid peace process, launched in 1991, along with later diplomatic efforts.

"The EU renews its call for both parties to resume negotiations urgently and to refrain from any action further undermining the viability of the two-state solution," Mogherini said.

The EU has in particular condemned the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as undermining the peace process.

"The European Union will promote and support now more than ever efforts to achieve a lasting peace based on this two-state vision together with international partners, including in the region," she said.

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