Ban encourages Israeli, Palestinian sides to remain engaged in peace talks

14 April 2014 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly encouraged Israel and Palestine to remain “constructively engaged” in ongoing efforts towards achieving a two-State solution during separate phone calls over the weekend with the leaders of both sides.

“The purpose of the calls was to discuss the ongoing efforts to extend the negotiations towards a final peace agreement between Israel and Palestine,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, told reporters in New York.

The two sides resumed negotiations last August following efforts by United States Secretary of State John Kerry. Direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians had stalled in September 2010, after Israel refused to extend its freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory.

In his conversations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday, the Secretary-General “strongly encouraged both sides to remain constructively engaged in the talks,” said Mr. Dujarric.

“He expressed his hope that both leaders will seize the current opening created by US efforts to find a way forward to achieve the two-State solution.”