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Middle East Quartet: Statement Urging Leaders to Resume Peace Negotiations

(February 8, 2015)

Representatives of the Quartet — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, United States Secretary of State John Kerry, European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson (representing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon) — met in Munich on 8 February.

Recalling its previous statements, the Quartet discussed the situation in the region.  The Quartet underlined the importance of the parties resuming negotiations as soon as possible, with a view to reaching a just, lasting and comprehensive peace on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the Madrid Principles, including land for peace, and the agreements previously reached between the parties.  A sustainable peace 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.

To that end, the Quartet recalled the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative — with its vision for a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict — and the vital role of Arab partners.  The Quartet will remain actively engaged in preparing for a resumption of the peace process in the coming period, including regular and direct outreach to Arab States.

Pending the resumption of negotiations, the Quartet called on both parties to refrain from actions that undermine trust or prejudge final status issues.

The Quartet underscored the importance of ensuring that the acute fiscal challenges faced by the Palestinians are addressed and of supporting Palestinian institution-building efforts.

The Quartet is deeply concerned over the difficult situation in Gaza where the pace of reconstruction needs to be accelerated to address the basic needs of the Palestinian population and to ensure stability.  The Quartet principals stressed that donor funding is critical.  They expressed support for the recent joint letter by Egypt and Norway, as well as the joint statement by the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, urging donors to disburse as soon as possible their financial commitments made at the October 2014 Cairo Conference, including the funding of United Nations agencies carrying out vital operations in Gaza for both the refugee and non-refugee populations.

The Quartet principals expressed their warm appreciation for the tireless work of outgoing United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry.

Source: The United Nations