UN, Russia focus on restarting Mideast peace talks

Russia and the United Nations vowed Thursday to resuscitateIsraeli-Palestinian peace talks, whose prospects collapsed followingIsrael's announcement it would build new homes in east Jerusalem.
Visiting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that Friday's meeting ofthe so-called Quartet of international mediators in Moscow should helprestart 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 UnitedStates, the UN and the European Union — is to persuade Israel and thePalestinians to resume talks.
He said the Quartet would issue a strong joint statement when their Moscow meeting concludes Friday.
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