Ban Ki-moon speaking 311 AP.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed regret that "Israel will not heed the united call of the international community...to extend the settlement restraint policy," in a statement issued by his spokesman early Thursday morning.
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In the statement, Ki-moon reiterated his "urging Israel to fulfill its Roadmap obligation to freeze all settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem."
The spokesman continued, "In spite of this setback, the secretary-general believes it is more important than ever to promote a negotiated end-game for a two-State solution."
Ki-moon added that he "is encouraged that the United States has
indicated its determination to continue its efforts in this direction
and he urges the full cooperation of the parties towards that end." The
secretary-general, the statement noted, "is looking forward to these
matters being discussed in the days to come among all members of the
The US earlier this week, announced that it was giving up on securing an
extended settlement freeze as a move to bring the two parties back to
the negotiating table. Israel has resisted calls to implement an
additional West Bank building moratorium and the Palestinians have said
they will not return to direct negotiations without a freeze in place.
Washington said its new approach on the Israeli-
Palestinian peace process will be to focus on the final-status
“We’re going to focus on the substance and try to make progress
on the core issues themselves. We think that will create the kind of momentum we
need to get to sustained and meaningful negotiations,” US State Department
spokesman P.J. Crowley said Wednesday.
“I would describe this as a
change in tactics rather than a change in strategy. It’s not a change of our
objectives at all,” he said.
He said that he didn’t anticipate the
Israelis and Palestinians meeting together in Washington in the coming days, but
avoided characterizing the process as returning to the proximity talks that were
held before the launch of direct talks.Herb Keinon and Hilary Leila Krieger contributed to this report.