Friday, March 19, 2010

Quartet calls for Palestinian state within two years

The Quartet of Middle East peace mediators on Friday called on Israel and the Palestinians to relaunch peace negotiations in order to achieve a two-state solution within 24 months.

"The Quartet believes these negotiations should lead to a settlement, negotiated between the parties within 24 months, that ends the occupation that began in 1967 and results in the emergence of an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors," said a joint statement read by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

"The Quartet reiterates that Arab-Israeli peace and the establishment of a peaceful state of Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza is in the fundamental interest of the parties, of all states in the region, and of the international community," said the statement. "In this regard the Quartet calls on all states to support dialogues between the parties."

The Quartet, which comprises members Russia, the United States, the UN and the European Union, was meeting in Moscow in an effort defuse the latest crisis in peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians."

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