UN, Russia focus on restarting Mideast peace talks

March 18, 2010 15:17

Russia and the United Nations vowed Thursday to resuscitate Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, whose prospects collapsed following Israel's announcement it would build new homes in east Jerusalem.

Visiting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that Friday's meeting of the so-called Quartet of international mediators in Moscow should help restart talks.

"There is no other alternative to direct peace talks," Ban said after a meeting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Lavrov said that the main goal of the mediators — Russia, the United States, the UN and the European Union — is to persuade Israel and the Palestinians to resume talks.

He said the Quartet would issue a strong joint statement when their Moscow meeting concludes Friday.

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