[QODLink]
Middle East
Quartet urges revival of Mideast peace talks
Quartet special envoy Tony Blair discusses ways forward for Palestinians and Israelis after the UN statehood submission.
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2011 02:06

The United States and other powers have called for the Palestinians and Israel to resume direct peace talks within a month and commit to seeking a deal by the end of 2012.

The Quartet of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations acted after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas formally submitted his request to the United Nations for Palestine to be admitted as a full member on Friday.

The United States has vowed to veto the unilateral bid at the UN Security Council, arguing that the resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is the only real path to peace and statehood.

Direct talks stalled in September 2010 when Israel failed to renew a partial freeze on settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, but the Quartet urged both sides on Friday to return to the table and plotted out a path forward.

"We urge both parties to take advantage of this opportunity to get back to talks," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

"The Quartet proposal represents the firm conviction of the international community that a just and lasting peace can only come through negotiations between the parties," she said, alluding to US opposition to the Palestinian bid.

Quartet special envoy Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, said the proposal was "the only way in the end we deal with the difficulties around the table and in negotiations."

In response to the latest Quartet peace blueprint, the Palestinians urged Israel to seize the opportunity while an Israeli official said Tel Aviv was ready to resume negotiations.

"We hope Israel will seize the opportunity offered by the Quartet," Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said.

"We are ready to assume our responsibilities according to the road map and international law, but Israel needs to assume its own and end settlement activity" in the occupied West Bank, he added.

A senior Israeli official said his side was "currently studying the statement. We are ready to resume the negotiations".

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
Great white activity off famous Bondi Beach had beach-goers scrambling out of the water, but experts say don't panic.
At least 25,000 displaced people have gathered on the northern border, with more on the way trying to escape attacks.
Remnants of deadly demonstrations to be displayed in a new museum, a year after protests pushed president out of power.
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.