The following statement by the Middle East Quartet (United Nations, Russian Federation, United States, European Union) was issued today:
Representatives of the Quartet — European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, United States Secretary of State John Kerry and United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson — met in Munich on 12 February.
The Quartet condemned all acts of terror and expressed its serious concern over the continuing violence against civilians. Reiterating its call for restraint, the Quartet called upon all parties to reject incitement and actively take steps to de-escalate the current tensions.
The Quartet expressed its serious concern that current trends on the ground — including continued acts of violence against civilians, ongoing settlement activity and the high rate of demolitions of Palestinian structures — are dangerously imperilling the viability of a two-State solution. The Quartet reiterated that unilateral actions by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of a negotiated solution.
The Quartet underlined its commitment to achieving a negotiated, comprehensive, just and enduring resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
The Quartet reiterated that the status quo is not sustainable and that significant steps, consistent with the transition contemplated by prior agreements, are urgently needed to stabilize the situation and to reverse negative trends on the ground. It noted that the continued absence of such steps was leading to further deterioration, to the detriment of both Israelis and Palestinians. The Quartet underscored that both sides must swiftly demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to a two-State solution in order to rebuild trust and avoid a cycle of escalation.
It emphasized that a robust Palestinian economy and enhanced governance capacity will serve as cornerstones of a Palestinian state and that genuine Palestinian unity, on the basis of democracy and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) principles, is essential to reuniting Gaza and the West Bank under one legitimate, democratic Palestinian Authority.
The Quartet urged an immediate focus on accelerating efforts to address the dire situation in Gaza, emphasized the importance of increased access through legal crossings and called on all international partners to expedite the disbursement of their pledges made at the Cairo Conference in October 2014.
The Quartet will remain engaged with the parties in order to explore concrete actions that both sides can take to demonstrate their genuine commitment to pursuing a negotiated two-State solution.
The Quartet reaffirms its commitment to act in coordination with key stakeholders, including regional countries and the United Nations Security Council, to stabilize the situation and to actively support a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In that regard, the Quartet will prepare a report on the situation on the ground, including recommendations that can help inform international discussions on the best way to advance the two-State solution.