UN chief hopes Mideast Quartet can meet within few weeks on way forward

With Biden at the helm of affairs at the White House, Secretary-General Guterres seeks to relaunch negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians predicated on a two-state solution

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday he hopes to see the Middle East Quartet of mediators meet again in the next "few weeks" now that there is a new U.S. president in the White House.
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  • The Quartet - the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations - does not appear to have had a meeting since September 2018.
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    United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
    United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
    United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
    (Photo: AP)
    "The truth is that we were completely blocked in relation to any form of peace negotiation. We had the Israelis and the Palestinians that wouldn't talk to each other," Guterres said during an interview broadcast by The Washington Post.
    The new administration of President Joe Biden supports a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians and will overturn several decisions made under his predecessor, Donald Trump, the acting U.S. envoy to the United Nations told the Security Council last week.
    "There is a strong will of the new U.S. administration to play a positive role in creating these conditions for a true peace process to restart," Guterres said.
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    הבית הלבן
    הבית הלבן
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump at the presentation of the Trump peace plan for the Middle East at the White House
    (Photo: Reuters)
    "I believe that now it will be possible to have a meeting of the Quartet," he said. "I would like to see it in the next few weeks."
    The Palestinians want a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital, all territory captured by Israel from Egypt and Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War. Under Trump's peace proposal, Washington would have recognized Jewish settlements in the territory as part of Israel.
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