Mideast Quartet to meet in New York: Erakat



RAMALLAH - The Middle East diplomatic Quartet will meet in New York in two weeks time, the chief Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erakat announced on Wednesday.
The Quartet -- the European Union, the United Nations, Russia and the United States -- will convene on September 24 "to discuss the Middle East peace process," Erakat told a joint news conference in Ramallah with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos.
"We hope that the Quartet will make decisions which will force Israel to halt its policy of colonisation in the occupied Palestinian territories," he said.



Mideast Quartet to meet in New York: Erakat
Israel on Monday gave the go-ahead to build hundreds of new homes in settlements in the occupied West Bank, defying warnings that the move jeopardizes any resumption of Middle East peace talks.
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak authorised the construction of 455 units, most of them in the large settlement blocs that Israel has said it wants to keep in the event of a final peace agreement.
The move -- coming just days ahead of a planned visit to the region by US Middle East envoy George Mitchell -- has sparked criticism that it will undermine US-led efforts to restart the stalled peace process.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday denounced Israel's plans as "contrary to international law."
"Such actions and all settlement activity are contrary to international law and the roadmap," a statement issued by his office said.
The Quartet has endorsed the roadmap, which calls for a viable Palestinian state coexisting peacefully alongside a secure Israel.
But no tangible progress has been made on resolving the core issues of Jerusalem, the future borders of a Palestinian state and refugees.
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Thursday, September 10th 2009
AFP
           


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