Mideast Quartet calls for resumption of peace talks


(JTA) — The Middle East Quartet called for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations as soon as possible.

Representatives of the Quartet — the diplomatic grouping of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations that guides the Middle East process — met Sunday on the sidelines of the Munich Economic Conference.

They called for a “sustainable peace,” which the Quartet says “requires the Palestinians’ aspirations for statehood and sovereignty and those of Israelis for security to be fulfilled through negotiations based on the two-state solution,” according to a statement issued Sunday by the U.S. State Department.

Secretary of State John Kerry was among the Quartet representatives at the meeting.

The Quartet said it would continue to remain “actively engaged in preparing for a resumption of the peace process in the coming period, including regular and direct outreach to Arab states,” and called on both the Israelis and Palestinians “to refrain from actions that undermine trust or prejudge final status issues.”

It also stressed the “importance of ensuring that the acute fiscal challenges faced by the Palestinians are addressed and of supporting Palestinian institution-building efforts.”

The Quartet also expressed its concern over the “difficult situation in Gaza” and called for donors to honor their financial commitments for reconstruction “to address the basic needs of the Palestinian population and to ensure stability.”

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