Quartet call 'falls short' for Palestinians

RAMALLAH- The Quartet's call on Saturday for an urgent resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks "falls short of our expectations," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said.
"The Quartet's statement falls short of our expectations. It does not rise to the level that we expected of it, nor to the level of the events which the region is undergoing and which demand decisions," he told AFP.
The Middle East diplomatic Quartet, after a meeting in the German city of Munich, said the current turmoil in Egypt makes it all the more imperative that Israelis and Palestinians return to negotiations.

Quartet call 'falls short' for Palestinians
The Quartet, in its statement, called on all parties "to undertake urgently efforts to expedite Israeli-Palestinian and comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace, which is imperative to avoiding outcomes detrimental to the region."
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said: "I don't have to tell you that the events that we have witnessed in the region mean it is hugely important that we are making progress in the Middle East peace process.
"I believe that regional events should not distract us from that objective for the future. We want to see peace and stability in the region, and we believe that the Middle East peace process is an essential part of that."
After the talks in Munich, Ashton and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and UN head Ban Ki-moon agreed to meet again in March.
Envoys from the four Middle East peace mediators will seek to hold separate talks with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Brussels before then, as well as with representatives of an Arab League peace talks committee.
The Palestinians walked out of direct peace talks after Israel refused in September to renew a temporary ban on building Jewish settlements in the West Bank on land earmarked for a future Palestinian state.

Sunday, February 6th 2011

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