Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a news conference Thursday that an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "is long overdue" and it's vital that long-stalled negotiations resume.
He said he's sympathetic to the frustrations of the Palestinian people who have failed to achieve an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. "I am profoundly troubled by the lack of progress in the peace negotiations," he said. "Time is not our friend."
Ban said Israel has a duty to create conditions favorable to resuming negotiations and noted that new settlement activity "has not been helpful." He said the Palestinians should try to sit down for talks with the Israelis.
On Thursday, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said that the Palestinians will submit a bid for full membership at the United Nations Security Council on September 23, but said that they would be open to other suggestions.
The remarks by Malki put an end to speculation that the Palestinians might avoid a showdown with the United States by sidestepping the Security Council and going directly to the UN General Assembly to seek a lesser status of a non-member observer.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now