Direct talks an opportunity should not be missed: UN envoy

13:40, August 27, 2010      

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The United Nations sees the re- launching of Israeli-Palestinian direct talks as an opportunity that should not be missed, UN special envoy to the Middle East Robert Serry said in Cairo Thursday.

The UN envoy met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit. The two sides discussed the latest developments of the Middle East peace process, especially in light of the U.S. announcement last week of the re-launching of the direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.

"I can also express the hope and the determination on the UN side that we must see now a serious process of meaningful negotiations starting on September 2," Serry told reporters following the meeting.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki was quoated as saying that Abul Gheit stressed during the meeting that Egypt considers the direct talks a real test for the Israeli government readiness to reach a compromise with the Palestinians.

Abul Gheit also stressed that Egypt supports the Palestinian decision to participate in the direct negotiations in Washington, adding that it reveals keenness of Palestinians on dealing positively with the efforts exerted to reach a compromise with the Israeli side.

The Egyptian minister reaffirmed that success of the negotiations depends on Israel which should halt settlement construction as well as other commitments.

Later on Thursday, the UN envoy met with the Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa at the league's headquarters in Cairo.

Serry told reporters after the meeting that he agreed with Moussa that the negotiations must be a beginning of a serious and meaningful peace process.

Last Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton invited Israel and the Palestinians to resume the direct talks in Washington on September 2 with the aim of forging a solution within one year.

The announcement follows months of intensive diplomatic efforts by U.S. Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell in an attempt to persuade the Israeli and Palestinian sides to resume negotiations.

Source: Xinhua


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