Quartet Calls for Israel, Palestinians to Resume Talks

Posted September 24th, 2011 at 12:26 am (UTC-5)
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The Middle East Quartet has called for the Palestinians and Israel to resume talks within one month and reach an agreement by next year after the Palestinians asked the United Nations to recognize their state.

The Quartet, made up of the United States, the European Union, Russia and the U.N., urged the two sides to come up with comprehensive proposals on territory and security within three months in an effort to achieve a two-state solution.

The Quartet's push came Friday as Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas asked the United Nations to recognize a state of Palestine, despite U.S. and Israeli opposition.

Addressing the U.N. General Assembly, Mr. Abbas called Israel “the occupying power” and said its control of Palestinian enclaves is a policy of “colonial settlement occupation.”

Israel has opposed the Palestinian statehood move, saying it does not advance the peace process.

In a later speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed that peace talks begin immediately at the United Nations and reaffirmed Israeli's stance that peace cannot come through U.N. resolutions.

The Quartet said an international conference will be held in Moscow to review progress and for a donors meeting for the Palestinian Authority.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he hoped the two parties would respond constructively to the proposal.