UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 311 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ Joshua Lott)
United Nation’s Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that US President Barack
Obama, in his major Middle East address on Thursday, had put forward important
ideas that could advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
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A statement put
out by Ban’s office over the weekend said he believed Obama had “offered
important ideas which could help the peace talks move forward, consistent with
international positions and responding to the legitimate core concerns of both
“He hopes all sides will demonstrate a renewed determination to
achieve a peace agreement that provides for two states living side-by-side in
dignity, security and peace,” the statement said.
The Quartet – EU, US,
UN and Russia – have also lauded Obama’s vision.
“The members of the
Quartet are in full agreement about the urgent need to resolve the conflict
between Israel and the Palestinians,” read a statement put out by the group. “To
that effect, the Quartet expressed its strong support for the vision of
Israeli-Palestinian peace outlined by US President Barack Obama.”
EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said, “I warmly welcome President
Obama's confirmation that the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on
the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, secure and recognized borders for
both sides, an Israel whose security concerns are met, and an agreement on the
issues of Jerusalem and refugees.”
“Our common goal remains a just and
lasting resolution, with the state of Israel and an independent, democratic,
contiguous, sovereign and viable state of Palestine, living side by side in
peace and security,” Ashton said.
Both British Foreign Minister William
Hague and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also spoke separately of their support
for Obama’s vision.
“I think the proposal of taking the 1967 border and
of considering the exchange of territory – considering it and not dogmatically
adhering to it – would be a good and manageable path,” Merkel told a news
conference over the weekend.