Ban: Obama’s ideas could move peace talks forward

UN Secretary-General says US president's speech is "consistent with int'l positions"; Quartet expresses support for Obama's vision.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 311 R (photo credit: REUTERS/ Joshua Lott)
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.
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 parties.”
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“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.”
The 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.