UN chief calls for urgent Israeli-Palestinian negotiations

09:06, June 07, 2011      

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki- moon on Monday said that during his recent meeting in Rome with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, he had urged for negotiations between Palestinian and Israeli authorities.

"I emphasized the imperative that both the Palestinian and Israeli authorities return to the negotiating table," Ban said at a press conference here.

According to the secretary-general, Abbas briefed him on his thoughts and plans for Palestinian reconciliation and Palestinian statehood.

Talks between the Palestinians and Israel 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 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.

Ban's visit to Rome last week coincided with celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Italy's unification.

Source: Xinhua
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