UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 311 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ Joshua Lott)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday voiced his support for the establishment of a Palestinian state, but said that the matter is in the hands of the UN General Assembly, Palestinian Authority officials quoted him as saying.
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The officials said that the secretary-general, who met with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Rome, also expressed hope that members of the UN would show understanding for the Palestinian statehood bid.
Abbas and Ban also discussed the situation in the Palestinian territories and efforts to resume stalled peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel, the officials said.
According to a statement from the secretary-general's office, Ban used
to the conversation to express his concern at the lack of progress in
the Middle East peace process. He also told Abbas that he agreed with
the territorial vision laid out by US President Barack Obama in his
recent Middle East speech.
Ban also noted that Palestinian reconciliation should be based on PLO
commitments and Quartet principles. He said the reconciliation effort
should be given a chance and that he feels the formation of a
Palestinian State is something that is long overdue.
According to Ban Ki-Moon's office, the secretary-general also told Abbas
that he hoped any protests that occurred in the region on Sunday, which
has been dubbed "Naksa Day," would be peaceful.