Readout of the Secretary-General's telephone conversation with the Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu

New York, 19 February 2013

In a telephone conversation yesterday, the Secretary-General expressed his best wishes to Prime Minister Netanyahu following Israel's recent elections. They discussed the need for a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations as well as more generally the situation in the region, in particular the impact of the Syrian conflict, including Israel's security concerns in this regard. The Secretary-General stressed that it is urgent for Israelis and Palestinians to reengage in a serious peace effort with effective international support, and to create a conducive environment to that end. The Secretary-General also raised the deteriorating health condition of the Palestinian prisoners hunger strikers in Israeli custody, highlighting the need for an urgent solution of this critical issue.