Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Robert Serry, UN envoy warns of profound deadlock in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

“The political process to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in “profound and persistent” deadlock, a senior United Nations envoy warned today, calling on the parties to work towards a two-State solution and on the international community to help them find a credible way forward.

Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process, told a meeting of the Security Council that efforts to find the necessary common ground for resumed negotiations have proven extremely difficult, given the differences and lack of trust between the parties.
“Political leaders on both sides are frustrated, as are their publics,” he said at the start of a debate that was expected to hear from over 35 speakers. “This is particularly acute on the Palestinian side, in the absence of a credible political horizon for ending the occupation that began in 1967. Israelis remain concerned about achieving lasting security and end of conflict.”
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been stalled since late September following Israel’s refusal to extend a 10-month freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory.
That decision prompted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from direct talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which had only resumed a few weeks earlier after a two-year hiatus.
“The political process to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in profound and persistent deadlock,” stated Mr. Serry, who along with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been calling repeatedly on the parties to re-engage in direct talks.
“We continue to urge the parties to find a way forward at this sensitive and important time. We hope that the international community can help by shaping a legitimate and balanced framework,” he added.
The envoy noted that both Mr. Abbas and Mr. Netanyahu continue to reiterate their desire to negotiate. However, in the absence of a framework for meaningful talks, and with Israeli settlement activity continuing, the Palestinians are actively exploring approaching the UN.
“President Abbas states that he remains committed to negotiations, and that efforts in the United Nations would help to preserve the two-State solution. Israel opposes this course of action, stating that it will make negotiations for a two-State solution more difficult to achieve,” he said

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