UN envoy: Israeli-Palestinian talks in 'critical' stage

January 23, 2013 20:32
1 minute read.


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In order to save the two-state solution, Israelis and Palestinians must take "courageous" steps to avoid "dire consequences" of inaction, a senior United Nations envoy told the Security Council on Wednesday.

“No international effort alone is sufficient for progress absent the requisite will from the parties themselves,” said Robert Serry, the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. “If they want to provide themselves and others with the opportunity to get on track in the period ahead, then now is not the time for actions that further undermine mutual trust.” Serry added that with the backdrop of events in the region, including the Jordanian and Israeli elections, "This is not a time to be idle.”

“We are entering a critical period ahead, in which concerted action will be vital if we are to salvage the two-State solution,” he stated.

The envoy urged both sides to abstain from actions that would make meaningful negotiations fruitless, calling on Israel to restore the "timely timely, predictable and transparent transfers of tax and customs revenues without further delay.”

In addition to raising the issue of Israel withholding Palestinian tax revenue, Serry cited "worrying events" including continued settlement construction.

"If Israel is serious about the two-state solution it must recognize the negative impact of continued settlement construction. Palestinian seriousness could be demonstrated by pausing further action in the international arena while talks begin,” he stated.

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