Mideast Quartet to meet amid stalled peace talks

UN secretary-general, Clinton, Russian FM to meet at UN headquarters; Ashton, Blair to participate via video link.

By REUTERS
March 10, 2012 02:40
1 minute read.
Quartet members gather for a meeting in Washington

quartet dinner washington. (photo credit: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

UNITED NATIONS - The Quartet of Middle East negotiators - the United States, Russia, the United Nations and European Union - will meet on Monday to discuss the long-stalled peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, the United Nations said Friday.

The UN press office said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would meet at UN headquarters ahead of a special UN Security Council session on the Arab Spring uprisings.

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The other Quartet principals - EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Quartet envoy Tony Blair - will participate via video link.

Russia has been pushing for a Quartet meeting, UN diplomats have said.

It was unclear whether the group planned to issue a statement to encourage a resumption of talks, an issue that has been overshadowed by the debate over a possible military strike on Iran due to Tehran's nuclear program.

Riven by internal quarrels, the Palestinians have struggled to make their voice heard in recent months. World attention has shifted to the US presidential elections, the escalating violence in Syria and Iran's nuclear program.

Ban Ki-moon said in Jerusalem last month that Israel and the Palestinians were running out of time to solve their conflict and ought to give the highest priority to resuming peace talks.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as a condition for negotiations, has demanded that Israel agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state along 1967 lines.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has refused to accept that request and has balked at the Palestinians' demands to freeze settlement activities on lands the Palestinians want for a future state.


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