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Middle East diplomatic Quartet urges resumption of negotiations 'as soon as possible'

9 February 2015 – The European Union, United Nations, United States and Russia, representing the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East Peace Process, have urged the resumption of Israeli-Palestinians negotiations "as soon as possible" and reached out for donor funding to accelerate reconstruction of Gaza "to address the basic needs of the Palestinian population and to ensure stability."

This statement followed discussions over the weekend in Munich, Germany, by the Quartet principals – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US Secretary of State John Kerry, European Union (EU) High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson, representing the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.

"The Quartet underlined the importance of the parties resuming negotiations as soon as possible," the statement said.

"A sustainable peace requires the Palestinians' aspirations for statehood and sovereignty and those of Israelis for security to be fulfilled through negotiations based on the two-state solution," it said.

The Quartet also expressed its deep concern over "the difficult situation in Gaza where the pace of reconstruction needs to be accelerated to address the basic needs of the Palestinian population and to ensure stability" and "stressed that donor funding is critical."

Specifically, the Quartet expressed support for the recent joint letter by Egypt and Norway, as well as the joint statement by the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, urging donors to disburse as soon as possible their financial commitments made at the October 2014 Cairo Conference, including the funding of UN agencies carrying out vital operations in Gaza for both the refugee and non-refugee populations.

The Quartet also recalled the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative – with its vision for a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict – and the vital role of Arab partners.

And the group expressed their warm appreciation for the tireless work of outgoing UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry.



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