Mideast Quartet: Israel-PA peace talks must advance quickly due to Egypt unrest
Middle East negotiators say further delay in resumption of negotiations is detrimental to the prospects for regional peace and security.
The Quarter of Mideast negotiators urged Saturday that Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations must advance quickly due to the recent turmoil in Egypt.
The announcement, which was made at the end of a Quartet meeting in Munich, came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tried to delay the Quarter meet in recent days, claiming the timing wasn't right in light of the political crisis in Egypt.
In a statement, the group said that in view of developments in the Middle East, the Quartet expresses its belief that further delay in the resumption of negotiations is detrimental to the prospects for regional peace and security.
The Quartet emphasized that the goal of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement is the establishment of a Palestinian state by September. The group also said it regretted Israel's decision to end a 10-month moratorium on construction in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The meeting of Quarter members including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, United States Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell, and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union Catherine Ashton.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the Quartet meeting - which also included Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, U.S. special envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell and the Quartet's envoy Tony Blair - had delivered clear messages.
"Those who want to support moderate forces in the Middle East, those who want to support constructive forces in the Middle East, are well advised to press for progress in the Middle East peace process," Westerwelle said.