Quartet envoy Tony Blair with PM Netanyahu
Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO

Quartet prioritize Egypt's impact on Mideast talks

Further delays in peace talks between Israel, Palestinians would be detrimental to prospects for regional peace and security, says Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators

The Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators said on Saturday they would give high priority to the impact of the current unrest in Egypt on the stalled peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.


In a draft statement due to be endorsed by the United Nations, European Union, Russia and the United States, they said further delays in resuming talks would be "detrimental to prospects for regional peace and security."


"The Quartet took note of the dramatic developments in Egypt and elsewhere in the region in recent days," said the statement drafted for approval by the four parties on the sidelines of a security conference in Munich.


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov were holding a Quartet meeting during the Munich conference.


"The Quartet members considered the implications of these events for Arab-Israeli Peace and agreed to discuss this further in upcoming meetings as a matter of high priority."


The Quartet "strongly urged the parties on that basis to overcome current obstacles in the peace process."


The statement, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, said the four parties reiterated their support for concluding the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations by September this year and said the Quartet would meet again in mid-March on the way ahead.


Quartet envoys would seek to meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators ahead of this in Brussels, the draft statement said.


Earlier on Saturday, Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat rejected on Saturday a series of economic incentives proposed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Quartet envoy Tony Blair.


Erekat expressed his hope that western nations "stop dealing with Israel as if it is a country that is above the law" and "reach a historic decision that will recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital.


Elior Levy contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 02.05.11, 17:58
 new comment
This will delete your current comment