NEW YORK, September 28, 2013 (WAFA) – Representatives of the Quartet for Middle East peace said Friday following a meeting in New York that they support efforts to reach final settlement by the set target date.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, US Secretary of State John Kerry and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, whose countries make up the Quartet, met in New York with the Palestinian and Israeli negotiators, Saeb Erekat and Tzipi Livni, in the presence of Quartet Representative Tony Blair.
A statement by the Quartet said Kerry as well as Erekat and Livni briefed the meeting on the progress in the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations launched in Washington on July 29 and which set a target date of between six to nine months to reach a final peace deal.
“The Quartet reaffirmed its determination to lend effective support to the efforts of the parties and their shared commitment to reach a permanent status agreement within the agreed goal of nine months,” said the statement, promising “to actively support the pursuit of a comprehensive resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”
While it commended President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for “their commitment to remaining engaged in sustained and continuous negotiations to address all of the core issues,” the Quartet nevertheless called “on all parties to take every possible step to promote conditions conducive to the success of the negotiating process and to refrain from actions that undermine trust or prejudge final status issues.”
Blair also provided a briefing on the Quartet’s Economic Initiative to bring transformative economic growth to the Palestinian economy.
“The Quartet expressed its support for the initiative and for the important mission of Palestinian institution building that will complement, support and run in parallel with the renewed negotiations,” added the statement.
The Quartet reviewed as well the situation in Gaza and “underscored the importance of addressing the humanitarian situation and including Gaza in the efforts to support the Palestinian economy.”
It discussed “the humanitarian needs of Gaza’s residents and emphasized the importance of increased access into Gaza through legal crossings.”