UN chief urges Israel, Palestine to continue proximity talks

08:49, June 29, 2010      

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Monday urged Israelis and Palestinians to continue proximity talks sponsored by the United States.

Ban, who just returned from attending the Group of 20 summit in Toronto, Canada, told reporters at UN Headquarters that he had discussed with leaders, including those from the European Union, on the situation in the Middle East.

"The situation in the Middle East is always the key concern of international community and myself," he said. "We discussed in- depth how to help and encourage continuing proximity talks and how to bring more fundamental changes in Gaza blockade."

"It is at this time important that the proximity talks continues," he stressed.

Noting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to visit the United States to meet with President Barack Obama early next month, Ban expressed hope that it will provide "a good opportunity for two leaders to discuss more in-depth how to bring peace in the Middle East."

The United States sponsors indirect proximity talks between Palestinians and Israelis, which started in May.

The indirect talks are scheduled to last four months, aimed at bridging the gap between the two parties and confidence building to head for direct negotiations.

Palestinians say talks can not witness success as long as Israel is continuing settlement activities in the occupied West Bank and the eastern Arab section of East Jerusalem which they want as a future capital.

Source: Xinhua


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