Quartet’s Israel visit to restart peace talks canceled at Netanyahu’s request
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Quartet’s Israel visit to restart peace talks canceled at Netanyahu’s request

President Barack Obama, left, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, during his arrival ceremony at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, March 20, 2013, (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images)

President Barack Obama, left, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, during his arrival ceremony at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, March 20, 2013, (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images)

(JTA) — A visit by representatives of the Quartet to Jerusalem and the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority was canceled.

The visit was nixed at Israel’s request, The Associated Press reported, citing Palestinian sources. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu objected to the timing of the visit due to his nation’s current precarious security situation, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported. No new date has been set, the AP reported.

The Quartet, the diplomatic grouping tasked with advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace process, is comprised of the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union.

On Sept. 30, the Quartet announced on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York that it would visit the region “in order to explore concrete actions both sides can take to demonstrate their genuine commitment to pursuing a two-State solution, including encouraging efforts to agree on significant steps, consistent with prior agreements, that benefit Israelis and Palestinians.”

On Saturday night, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini spoke with Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and called on them to “promote calm, encourage restraint and avoid actions which would fuel the tensions even further.”

“Too many people have died already and too many families were left bereaved,” Mogherini said, according to a statement issued by the EU.

Mogherini called on both sides to restart the peace process toward a negotiated two-state solution.